Disc golf tournament raises funds for girl's kidney transplant
Published: Monday, February 24, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 22:02
When she was 9 years old, Evie Wentz was in the final stages of kidney failure due to hemolytic uremic syndrome. She found a kidney donor and received a transplant one week ago. This past weekend, more than 50 men and women joined together to raise money for Evie with a disc golf tournament.
The Children’s Organ Transplant Association helps kids receiving organ-transplants and their families with major medical expenses throughout the U.S.
Tyler Wentz is an active member in the Cache Valley Disc Golf League and Evie’s father. While attending USU, he helped bring the first disc golf course to Cache County.
“Tyler was one of the firsts in the valley," said Kirk Salisbury, a board member for the league. "This was a great way to show them our gratitude and help.”
Salisbury had the idea to host the tournament last Saturday in honor of Evie. 100 percent of the funds raised were to be given to the Wentz family to help with medical expenses.
The course used for the tournament, held at the Cache County Fairgrounds, was created from baskets brought by league members. The tournament received support from the community and outsiders.
More than $1,250 worth of prizes were donated from businesses around Cache Valley as incentives for participants. More than 50 players came from as far as Salt Lake City and Idaho Falls, with the youngest participant being 8 years old. The league was hoping to raise a couple thousand dollars to add to COTA’s goal of raising $45,000.
“So we’re going to make a little dent in the (charity),” Salisbury said.
The league meets year-round every Saturday morning, as well as Wednesdays during the summer months. Salisbury said anyone is welcome to come join in play or within the league.
There is only one permanent course in the valley, located in Providence. However, the league sets up baskets and plays in Hyrum, on the USU campus and at other locations. Courses range from nine to 18 holes with levels from beginner to advanced. Nibley has a nine-hole course that will be installed this spring. The CVDG is fundraising for an 18-hole course that has been approved at the Cache County Fairgrounds.
Jeff Wigington, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, began disc golf a year ago after playing ultimate Frisbee for numerous years.
He said it began to become difficult getting enough people out to play ultimate Frisbee, especially during the cold winter months in Logan. Then he discovered disc golf.
“It is tough to not have a huge group, but with disc golf, it is quite different,” Wigington said. “Normally, my wife will even come and play.”
Saturday’s tournament was played despite the light snow. Participants said they were grateful to not only play but support the Wentz family as well.
Evie was grateful for the support she received this weekend.
“I feel so happy that you would do that for me,” she said to participants. “I'm so thankful for your support and your love and your kindness."
For more information on disc golf around the cache valley, visit www.cachevalleydiscgolf.com.