TARA — Barbara Parker can’t help but smile at the handful of bright-eyed faces staring up at her.
Each picture tells a story of a special child whose dreams are coming true. And for Parker and the rest of the Tara community, the opportunity to honor these children is a blessing.
On April 16, Tara will recognize 6-year-old Bradenton resident Matthew Zuckerman, who is battling leukemia, as this year’s honor child during the community’s 16th Annual Tara Members Charity Golf Tournament for Give Kids the World Village.
The charity tournament, open to the first 144 members to sign up, will begin with a continental breakfast followed by a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. During the tournament, Matthew will make his way around the course on a golf cart to greet participants and try his hand at hitting and putting if he’s capable.
At the conclusion of the tournament, participants will enjoy a barbecue lunch. Awards will also be presented to the winners of the overall tournament, as well as special awards for putting and closest to the pin, among others.
Later that evening, members will enjoy a black tie dinner and social. During the social, members will also have an opportunity to win prizes, including a 32-inch flat screen TV, a Nook eReader and a $300 gift certificate to the Tara Pro Shop, among other prizes.
Tara began working with Give Kids the World Village 16 years ago after Tara residents June Hartlieb and Carol Miers toured the nonprofit organization.
Since then, Tara has raised more than $352,500 for Give Kids the World Village. This year, organizers said they hope to raise $25,000 for the cause.
“It’s a chance to help families who are struggling with life,” co-chair Larry Coffee said. “It’s just such an unbelievable and wonderful place. Once you’ve been there you cannot help but want to help.”
Give Kids the World Village is a 70-acre resort in Kissimmee, complete with pools, restaurants, miniature golf and more, designed for children battling life-threatening illnesses whose wish is to visit the Disney theme parks.
The children and their families receive a free six-day vacation, including accommodations, theme park tickets, meals, transportation and more. Give Kids the World Village also offers a Kids Club one Saturday a month where local children and their families can come and enjoy the resort for a day.
“When the child gets there, they’re going to have the time of their life,” said Parker, a co-chair. The parents don’t have to worry and they can just have fun. Having fun, no matter how old you are, is probably the most important thing in life.”
For more information on Give Kids the World Village visit www.gktw.org.
Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].
Tara Members Charity Golf Tournament for Give Kids the World Village
WHEN: Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., April 16
WHERE: Tara Golf and Country Club, 6602 Drewrys Bluff
REGISTRATION: Larry Coffee, 753-3109