One incredible aspect of being a professional athlete is the opportunity given to serve others; it’s right at our fingertips! Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago has forever had a special place in my heart. I have always had feelings of compassion for families dealing with childhood illness; it was easy for me to sympathize for parents, siblings, children, and their adversities. If there was ever a way I could lend a hand, I wanted to help. Not until I had my own children, however, was I able to empathize for these families and such tragedies. It only more clearly manifested my perception of Lurie, its amazing services, kind-hearted staff, and philosophies. From that moment, I knew that Lurie Children’s Hospital was a perfect place for me to start my long-term charitable journey with this astounding group of people.
For the past six years, I have committed time to raising much-needed funds for local non-profits through one of my signature fundraising events, The Robbie Gould Celebrity Golf Invitational. In 2016, I was both excited and honored to announce Ace Hardware’s partnership for the celebrity golf outing. By joining forces with such a successful national (and locally headquartered) company, I was thrilled to be able to raise even more funds for the hospital.
Lurie relies on philanthropic support to care for more than 174,000 children each year. The Robbie Gould Celebrity Golf Invitational, presented by Ace Hardware, netted over $940,000 in 2016. Assistance from Ace Hardware key vendors and personal friends including, Lisa Salters, Carlton Fisk, Michael Waltrip, Don Beebe, Kevin Butler, Jim Covert, Cliff Levingston, Melanie Collins, Trey Wingo, James ‘Big Cat’ Williams, Roberto Garza, Ryan Diem, Jay Hilgenberg, Tommy John, and Bill Wennington, and many other participants and brands, helped to build this incredible success story. It is without a doubt that the countless number of support and help from the community helped us to attain this immense goal. Even more exhilarating, the funds from our event will help create a tree house-like library space in the Family Life Center.
Thank you to everyone that was involved; we could not have done this without you, and we are looking forward to this year’s upcoming event.