Former patient Ben Sater received treatment, including surgery, for a condition called trigger finger at the Charles E. Seay, Jr. Hand Center at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Although the only visual reminders of his treatment are four tiny scars on the inside of his hands, Ben's experience at TSRHC made a permanent impression on his life. He decided to use his love for golf to give back to the hospital by creating KidSwing, a 9-hole, best-ball scramble for players ages 5 to 18 of all levels of golf ability.
The inaugural tournament was a huge success. A total of 20 teams played in the best-ball scramble on June 17, 2003, and raised more than $20,000 for TSRHC. Building on the success of the original KidSwing-Dallas, two more tournaments were created – KidSwing-McKinney in 2008 and KidSwing-Trophy Club in 2011.
KidSwing is a unique fundraising concept that is unparalleled. Unlike other charity golf tournaments, KidSwing is all about kids helping kids, and it gives local businesses and corporations the opportunity to help. There is no entry fee to play in the tournament, but players are asked to raise at least $100 through sponsorship from their friends and families. Many KidSwing participants go above and beyond that.
The combined fundraising efforts from all tournaments have raised more than $1.8 million for TSRHC. Even greater has been the joy that the KidSwing players and their families feel as they learn about the exceptional care TSRHC provides children in Texas and how rewarding it is to know that all of the funds raised by KidSwing players directly benefit the hospital.
Ben's devotion to giving back to the hospital through KidSwing has caught the attention of his friends, neighbors and the community. He was honored at Major League Baseball's All-Star game in July 2009, representing the Texas Rangers as an "All-Star Among Us." Most recently, he was selected to represent the state of Texas at the Prudential Spirit of Community awards banquet in Washington D.C. While there, Ben and nine others were selected out of the group of over 100 youth as top honorees. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism. Ben feels honored, but the greatest reward of all is knowing that his hard work will help TSRHC patients. KidSwing's success proves that one person, regardless of age, with generosity and vision, can make a huge difference in the lives of the children.