Cumming, GA, August 26, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- On Monday, August 29, friends, family, and complete strangers will gather together to pay tribute to Cumming resident John David Keith with a Charity Golf Tournament at Polo Golf & Country Club.
John David’s sad journey began when the young golf pro found that he was losing his grip on the club and his shots suddenly wouldn’t go exactly where he planned. Eventually, he began inexplicably falling down on the golf course during sessions with students. It would be some time before doctors were able to put a name to what was happening to Polo Golf & Country Club’s popular former golf instructor, and once they did—the news was devastating. In 2008, John David Keith was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a progressive and degenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal column. Over time, the brain’s ability to initiate and control muscle function deteriorates to the point of complete paralysis. During the course of the next three years, the Georgia native would eventually lose the ability to walk, was no longer able to speak, and found himself struggling to breathe without the aid of a machine. The once strong and muscular physique of a former high school football athlete was slowly transformed into a frail skeletal frame. As his condition worsened, the bills for caregivers, medical supplies, and doctor visits mounted. As if watching the rapid decline of her beloved only son wasn’t difficult enough, the financial burden was becoming overwhelming for John David’s mother, Renee.
The single mom and widow—who had lost her husband when John David was only two years old—turned to friends and family as sounding boards, and found far more than listening ears and shoulders to cry on. From helping with shopping, preparation of meals and cutting the lawn, to covering certain medical expenses, providing care to John, and writing letters to senators in a desperate attempt to have John placed in a clinical trial - fellow church members, friends and family have been doing their part to assist Renee however they can. Most recently, the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund was established and plans were underway for a Charity Golf Tournament at John David’s former place of employ—Polo Golf & Country Club in Cumming. Within hours of the launch of a Facebook page for the Fund—the number of fans started climbing and donations to the fund followed suit. Miraculously, the only date available to host the Charity Golf Tournament just happened to fall on the very same day as John David’s 44th birthday—truly extraordinary given the nature of the disease where every birthday marks a milestone.
The John David Keith Charity Golf Tournament is not only designed to help raise money for the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund—but will also serve as a celebration of this brave young man and his mother. The event is open to the public and golfers of all skill levels are invited to take part. The Polo Golf & Country Club is located at 6300 Polo Club Drive in Cumming, Georgia. Check-in begins at 8 a.m. with a 9 a.m. tee-off. The format of play is a four-person scramble, and the cost to participate is $90 per player—which in addition to going to a very good cause, includes green fees, cart, and range balls. At 2 p.m., John David and his mother will make a brief appearance at the Club—thanks to the generous donation of services from Advanced Ambulance Service, Inc. There will also be a silent auction during the event which includes items for bid such as foursomes of golf at local clubs The Manor, Polo Golf & Country Club, and White Columns Golf & Country Club. To add your name to the list of players for the tournament, please send an e-mail to Harmony Kiser at email@example.com or call (770) 205-7899.
Those wishing to show their support through monetary contributions are asked to make checks payable to the John David Keith Medical Relief Fund. Donations can be dropped off at any RBC Bank location in the Atlanta area or mailed to:
The John David Keith Medical Relief Fund
c/o Harmony Kiser
6230 Lenbrook Court
Cumming, GA 30040
To learn more about this tournament and future events, please visit www.facebook.com/johndavidkeith. Plans for a benefit concert for John David at Smith’s Olde Bar in downtown Atlanta are already in the works. For more information about ALS, visit The ALS Association online at www.alsa.org.