Young Children Hospital Patients Enjoy Learning the Game of Golf from Local PGA Professionals

Young Children Hospital Patients Enjoy Learning the Game of Golf from Local PGA ProfessionalsATLANTIS, FL – In 201o the South Florida PGA Foundation developed the program called “Smiling Fore Life” as a way of encouraging South Florida PGA Professionals to get involved in the community by visiting local hospitals. When this program began in April, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood was the only hospital participating. Now a year and a half later the program has expanded and currently offers golf at two additional hospitals in the South Florida region.

With the help of South Florida PGA Professionals, Ryan Alvino, Dave Cunliffe, Mark Hamstra, Daryl Hollinshead, Valerie Moore, and Andy Scott over 700 patients visiting Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, The Parent Child Life Program at St. Mary’s Hospital, and The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida have had an opportunity to learn the game of golf. For one hour every week these South Florida PGA Professionals visit these hospitals bringing golf into the children’s lives, and giving them an opportunity to forget about the hardships they are facing and enjoy a new and fun activity. 

Not only does this program benefit the children, but the PGA Professionals enjoy it as well.  As Andy Scott states, “this opportunity has been a treat. Having the chance to bring a child and family away from a challenging situation and bring a positive moral to their life has been extremely rewarding. This is a testament to the power of golf and how we as PGA Professional can make a difference in a positive way. My favorite part of the program is seeing the excitement and joy on the faces of the children and parents as they are learning to play golf in a fun filled environment. I am so glad to be a part of such a special program.” 

As for the hospital, St. Mary’s Parent Child Life Program Director, David Tkac states, “It is another way we can help children cope with hospitalization.  In addition to being great fun, it can help children see they are healing.”

As time goes on the South Florida PGA Foundation hopes that this program will continue to flourish by reaching out to more and more children and families throughout the South Florida community.  

Young Children Hospital Patients Enjoy Learning the Game of Golf from Local PGA Professionals


About Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Hollywood, Fla., is a facility of Memorial Healthcare System, the fifth-largest public healthcare system in the nation. It is a patient- and family-centered care facility that meets the complex needs of children by providing a wide scope of inpatient and outpatient pediatric services supervised by the largest diversity of board-certified specialists in the region. As an advocate for children's healthcare and related causes, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital offers community education, child safety programs and the Conine Clubhouse, a home away from home for families of hospitalized children. For more information, visit jdch.com.

About Parent Child Life Program
The Parent-Child Center, Inc. is a community-based non-profit organization that has been offering services and support to children and families in Palm Beach County since 1979. Our mission is to provide quality services that promote the social-emotional health and well-being of children and their families.  One of the Parent-Child Center’s special programs is the Child Life Program which is dedicated to providing support services to children who have acute or chronic health conditions and their families.  This program serves children who are in the hospital or attend clinics on the St. Mary’s Medical Center’s campus.

About The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida
The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, located within HealthPark Medical Center, is part of the Lee Memorial Health System in Lee County, Florida.  As the only facility of its kind between Tampa and Miami, The Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is dedicated to giving children and teenagers the highest level of medical and surgical care available anywhere. Lee Memorial Health System Foundation, through its role as the primary fund raising entity for The Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, is currently engaged in a major capital campaign that will enhance pediatric hospital care in Southwest Florida by building a new 398,000 square foot, 148-bed Children's Hospital facility on the HealthPark Medical Center Campus.

About The South Florida PGA Foundation
The South Florida PGA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded to support the South Florida community, with a focus on junior golf, education and scholarships, and charitable gifting. The South Florida PGA Foundation falls under the direction of the of the South Florida PGA, a not-for-profit organization comprised of over 1,600 men and women PGA Professionals dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf. www.sfpgagolf.com/foundation

 

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