By Patty Fantasia
KISMIF's 1st Annual Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Wheelchairs
Celebrity golfer and former NBA player Eric Grayson turned out with players, family and friends to support KISMIF'S 1st Annual Golf Tournament on Saturday, May 26th at the Siena Golf Club. KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun), a 501 (c) 3 non-profit founded by Dr Jon Petrick, held the event to raise funds for the purchase of specially equipped wheelchairs and expansion of its recreational programs for the disabled.
Following registration and a continental breakfast in the clubhouse sponsored by Guild Mortgage, Dr Petrick, who is also a nationally recognized chiropractic physician and CEO of the Las Vegas Pain Relief Centers, welcomed the teams of golfers and thanked them for their support before they headed off for a shotgun start. Members of the Las Vegas Pain Relief staff including Drs. Chris Robey and Dexter Hinds and office personnel Barbara Arizo, Debbie Brown-Zam, Amber Fadel, Ay San, and Miles Hunsinger along with a host of volunteers were on hand to assist players throughout the event ensuring an enjoyable day for all of the teams. KISMIF President Billy Eddins and Ambassador Dan McCarty were also in attendance posing for pictures with golfers on the Step & Repeat and sharing their own personal stories.
When asked about his participation Grayson said, "I was honored to be chosen as the celebrity golfer for their very first fundraising event. It was a gorgeous day, the temperature was the best I could ask for. Meeting the people who count on what KISMIF was created for was the best part of all. Meeting Dan and Billy were true highlights of the day. I went there for golf and talked basketball with Dan and even trash talked a little. To, me he was the celebrity."
Photo credit: Kenji Kita
Photo credit: Kenji Kita
Photo credit: Kenji Kita
In honor of Memorial day and the many veterans who came out to support KISMIF during the holiday weekend, seven representatives from the Spring Valley High School Varsity Cheer Team were on hand to perform their National Championship routines. Parent Chaperone Rebecca Fox said “I am extremely proud of these kids, When asked to participate in an event to raise awareness and funds to support those who may have disabilities or a physical limitations so that they can be able to participate in different sports and activities, these kids were on board 100%. Spring Valley High School Varsity Cheer (SVHS Cheer) wants to give back and be involved with the community, and I can’t think of a better event to start with than with KISMIF”
Following the round of golf, an Italian themed luncheon was served featuring several salads and pastas before raffle prizes, silent and live auctions were held, the 50/50 was drawn and the winning teams were announced and awarded their prizes. The D Casino won first prize while the Fireball team came in 2nd and Creech Air Force scored 3rd place. Event Co-Producer Jeff Grinstein, CEO of Jeff Grinstein Management was pleased with the turnout and response and believes that many more successful events will follow.
Entertainment was provided by Las Vegas singer Windy Karigaines and several attendees who tried their hand at karaoke, but there were also some serious moments such as when Dr. Petrick spoke about KISMIF and the organization's long range plan to build a specially equipped water park and resource center in Las Vegas that will be aimed at servicing the disabled before introducing Eddins and McCarty.. Stressing the need for specially equipped wheelchairs Eddins said, "wheelchair b-ball saved my life" He explained that "most insurance carriers provide wheelchairs for daily use not specialized chairs for sporting use. Competitive wheelchair sports can make the difference. Wheelchairs for basketball are like a pair of high tops strapped in and laced up." Eddins, an Adapted Physical Education Specialist who teaches physical education to school-aged students with all types of disabilities, has used a wheelchair since 1981 when he was injured in a climbing accident that left him a partial paraplegic. He played wheelchair basketball for 32 consecutive seasons and was on the Las Vegas team that won a Division iii National Championship in 2011.
Dr. Petrick also enjoyed acquainting everyone with Dan, his 15 year old KISMIFF Ambassador who attended the event with his mother, Nicole, the charity's secretary/treasurer. Citing Dan's enthusiasm, affable personality and wit that allows him to engage with people of all types and ages, Petrick talked about a painful surgery the young man had a year ago. Throughout the process and the rehabilitative treatments he has undergone at Las Vegas Pain Relief Center, Dan has kept his sense of humor and determination. When Petrick referred to him as a great person, who loves sports and is amazing, Dan responded by commenting how amazing KISMIF is.
Providing support for the technical aspects of the event were filmmaker Mike Jones, CEO of Wolf on the Moon Productions and his crew along with James Berg, Corey Wendling and Rocco Davis handling the audio.
Videopoker.com sponsored a roving beverage cart on the golf course that kept the players hydrated out on the course while other sponsors included: Sherri Simhayoff of Wardley Real Estate, VIP Limousines of Las Vegas, Vive Studio, Sitmatic, Flowhome Energy, Pottery Jenn, Shari's Finest, The Brooks Team at Beyond Real Estate, Communications Electronic Systems, Kenji Kita Photography and Hicks & Frazier Law Firm, Las Vegas Billboards and PromoDirect.com.
KISMIF is currently working on putting together a roster of other events to run throughout the year, which will provide recreational outlets for the disabled and further its fundraising efforts.