Waveland Golf Association steps up, donates bike to local youngster
The Waveland Golf Association (pictured above with Ian Pak and family) had an idea – a really good idea. They wanted to help someone who needed it. Unfortunately with the postponement and ultimately cancellation of the 2020 Principal Charity Classic, the WGA had to take a detour with their plans.
“This winter we got to thinking – this will be our 20th year we have volunteered at the Principal Charity Classic,” WGA board member Greg Bentley said. “Last year (at the PCC) they gave away a bike to a youngster in need at the volunteer party and we thought it would be cool if ‘we’ did that. We collect funds as part of our dues and also allow people to donate additional money. The Board voted to give away the bike at the 2020 PCC volunteer party this year and hopefully this will inspire other organizations to do something similar.”
Bentley and the WGA enlisted the help of Variety – the Children’s Charity here in Des Moines to help find a child who would benefit from the bike.
“We got in touch with Variety and they were more than happy to help us,” Bentley said. “We had seen Variety donating a bike in the past at the PCC, so we reached out to them to help us with our project. We didn’t want to try to do this on our own – they are better at this type of thing than we are. They were able to find Ian Pak for us and then everything fell apart. The tournament got postponed and then eventually cancelled. Once it was cancelled, we decided it wasn’t fair to Ian that he can’t have the bike, but there is no tournament for him to receive it at. So we decided to give him the bike at Waveland.”
Ian Pak (pictured right with Rocky Sposato, General Manager / COO – A.H. Blank & Waveland Golf Course), of Waukee, is a 5-year old boy with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, which affects his mobility. When walking, Ian requires either a hand to assist him or uses his reverse wheeled walker or bilateral quad canes to get around home and school. Ian has recently started taking 3-5 independent steps forward since using the specialized bike in physical therapy. The bike that was given to him will allow Ian to ride with the greatest degree of safety and independence. It will allow him to interact with family and friends in a recreational environment while improving his overall fitness and strength in a safe manner.
The timing of the giveaway couldn’t have been better according to Bentley.
“This was a great time to do it – and well worth it,” Bentley said. His mom (Jessica) was telling us that his school was going to let kids like Ian bring their bike to school for the physical education class. Until recently, Ian didn’t have a bike, so he would not have been able to participate. Knowing he now has his bike and can participate really made us feel good.”
Bentley also encouraged other golf associations to get involved with a project of their own similar to the WGA’s bike give away. He stressed that the best start is contact Variety – the Children’s Charity.
“Contact them if you are interested,” he said. “It wasn’t difficult at all – they have all the resources you need.”