Freedom Golf Association's First Annual "Honor Wounded Vets 5K Run/Walk" Succeeds in Showing How Adaptive Golf Is Aiding Vets' Road to Recovery

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 2, 2017 | Go to article overview

Freedom Golf Association's First Annual "Honor Wounded Vets 5K Run/Walk" Succeeds in Showing How Adaptive Golf Is Aiding Vets' Road to Recovery


Byline: Cindy Kurman

The enthusiasm and good will were palpable at McDonalds corporate campus in Oak Brook, Illinois on Sunday, October 29 as the Freedom Golf Associations (FGA) First Annual "Honor Wounded Vets 5K Run/Walk" succeeded in drawing attention to the fact that adaptive golf is clearly helping wounded vets return to normality after their military service. The more than 100 participants conquered the 5K course to show their support for the programs of the Freedom Golf Association, which is leading the way In Illinois in bringing the joy of golf to persons with physical, emotional and developmental needs.

"The 5K Run/Walk was a terrific way to honor Veterans who have been wounded in their service to the country and to acknowledge Illinois wounded vets, a growing number of whom have taken up golf to enjoy its many physical, emotional and social benefits," said Sally Ruecking, FGAs Vice President of Strategic Advancement. "Adaptive golf is bringing fun into the lives of people who are often left out due to their disabilities."

Cheered on by the music of the Elmhurst College Jazz Band and with welcoming remarks from E.Q. Sylvester, Chairman of FGA; radio and TV personality Bob Sirott of event co-sponsor WLS-AM radio; and Ruecking, the runners and walkers took to the track with smiles and a sense of mission. Other event sponsors included Molex LLC, Rich Harvest Farms, KF Partners LLC, and Reebie Storage and Moving.

The overall mens winner was 16-year old Matt Pierce of Alsip, Illinois, who ran the 5K course in 18:59. Second place went to Thomas Potaczek of Bensenville, IL, with a time of 19:23 and third place went to Andrew Pyle of Hinsdale, IL with a time of 22:14.

Among the women, the overall winner was Eileen Skisak of La Grange, IL with a time of 18:59. Eileen also ran in fifth place overall. The second-place womens winner was 12-year old Alexandra Two, with a time of 25:36; third place went to 10-year old Kelly Fergus of Chicago, with a time of 27:27.

Winners by age group were:

   * Male 10-14: James Mercurio, Hinsdale, IL
   * Male 15-19: Thomas Mercurio, Hinsdale, IL
   *   Male 20-24: Ben Landress, Chicago, IL

* Male 30-34: (1st) Michael Bellino, Villa Park, IL; (2nd) Nick Bada, Villa Park, IL

* Male 45-49: (1st) Jim Mercurio, Hinsdale, IL; (2nd) Carmelo Aguinir, Joliet, IL

* Male 50-54: (1st) Bob Fergus, Chicago, IL; (2nd) Ross Hurst, Clarendon Hills, IL; (3rd) Randy Pyle, Hinsdale, IL; (4th) Roger Keys, Northbrook, IL

* Male 65-69: (1st) Jerome Getter, Oak Park, IL; (2nd) John Kosmatka, Valparaiso, IN; (3rd) Karl Johnson, Woodridge, IL

* Male 70-74: James Smith, Clarendon Hills, IL

   *     Female 15-19: Maria Meyer, Hinsdale, IL
   *  Female 40-44: Lori Kosmatka, Chicago, IL
   *    Female 45-49: (1st) Kimberly Mercurio, Hinsdale, IL; (2nd)

Arlinda Nunez, Hinsdale, IL; (3rd) Christine Two, Wilmette, IL

* Female 50-54: (1st) Joy Hyzny, Burbank, IL; (2nd) Christie Bellino, Villa Park, IL

* Female 55-59: Jud Hrad, Chicago, IL

* Female 60-64: Sue Shepard, Elmhurst, IL

* Female 65-69: Carol Raska, Oak Park, IL

Freedom Golf Association leads the way in bringing adaptive golf to Illinois and is an integral part of the growing national movement, which has been embraced by major golf entities such as the PGA, LPGA and USGA. …

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