Sheri Ailing has donated more than $20,000 to Hospice of the EUP and MyMichigan Medical Center Sault Road to Recovery, since losing her husband to lung cancer in 2013.
The tenth annual Jim Ailing Memorial Golf Scramble took place on Saturday, July 29 at Tanglewood Marsh Golf Course. Sixteen teams of four golfers participated at $70 per person, allowing Ailing to donate an additional $1,315 to the hospice center, and $1,315 to Road to Recovery in her late-husband's memory.
“Jim loved to golf,” Ailing said. “He golfed six days a week. One day, a friend of his asked why I didn’t just put a golf tournament together in his name.”
Ailing did just that. For ten years and running, she has given away golf tournament cash prizes for first, second, and third place, mulligans, putting, and chipping contests. She has also awarded prizes for the closest ball to hole, longest drive, and furthest putt. Raffles, door prizes, and 50/50 drawings have even been included in the tournaments.
Since numerous friends and relatives have utilized hospice services, the 100% community funded hospice center seemed like the right place to donate and volunteer time.
“My mom passed away around 17 years ago,” Ailing said. “She used hospice, and I have had several friends who have used it. I started volunteering for patient care, cleaning, cooking, baking, organizing, and whatever else was needed.”
Jim and several of Ailing friends have utilized the area's Road to Recovery services to help get to and from Karmanos Cancer Institute of Mclaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey.
McLaren is the closest hospital offering oncology and treatment services. Patents are forced to drive approximately 90 miles one-way with gas prices around $4 per gallon. Travel can quickly become an unnecessary barrier to cancer treatment. Road to Recovery consists of 25 active volunteers and drivers, servicing hundreds of community members each year.
Both organizations are close to Ailing’s heart, as they are free to any in need of services.
Hospice of the EUP Director Tracey Holt was just as thankful as Road to Recovery volunteers to have received $1,315 in donations from the golf tournament this summer.
"Our hospice wouldn't be able to do the work that we do, offering the hospice house at no cost, if it weren't for individuals like Sheri," Holt said. "She truly has a heart of gold and we are blessed that she continues to support us with her financial contributions, as well as volunteering at the Ball Hospice House. These funds will go towards the purchase of new hospital beds. After 12 years of being open, we need to start replacing some of our medical equipment and furniture.”
But Hospice of the EUP needs community donations to make it all happen. Donate to Hospice of the EUP by mail or in-person at 308 W. 12th Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. You may also visit its website, here.
Volunteer or donate to MyMichigan Medical Center Sault Road to Recovery by clicking here.