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  • Liann Walborsky
    Liann Walborsky
    » Communications Manager, Tech CU
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    helping kids one putt at a time

    April 3, 2012 Posted by: Liann Walborsky

    Inspired by a family member who survived Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (known as ALL - the most common childhood cancer), Gracious Life Foundation (GLF) was founded by Weixing Chen in 2009 to teach kids with cancer to play golf as a means to help them recover after chemotherapy.  As Chen, president of GLF says, “Golf is challenging. You compete against yourself yet it is not overly taxing physically. It also involves and teaches dedication, accuracy and offers a way to be outside in the fresh air. Children who are recuperating from chemotherapy can participate in a sport without feeling like the underdog while playing with healthy kids.”  

    There are very few charities that involve golf when it comes to helping kids with cancer, says Chen, who built Gracious Life based upon three key principles (or three I’s): 

    I – Introduce golf to ALL patients and other kids with cancer 

    I – Inspire kids with cancer and their families 

    I – Increase awareness of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia 

    GLF and TCU 

    Since its inception in 2009, the organization has run many events related to its mission — “Birdie for ALL (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia).” This involves a fundraising initiative which raises and donates money to ALL research at Lucille Packard, runs a 9-hole golf putting event at the hospital, and supports a summer camp program at Camp Okizu for ailing kids.   

    The organization has received support from such organizations as the San Jose State Women’s Golf team, the Tiger Woods Foundation, Have a Ball foundation, Fry’s Open and Fairchild Semiconductor.  A recent putting event organized by Gracious Life was held at Stanford’s Ronald McDonald House, which houses 47 families from all over the world as they come to Lucille Packard to treat their child’s illness.  

    Chen, a member of Tech CU since 1995, can’t speak highly enough about his experience as both a business and retail banking member. When it came time to open up a checking and savings account for Gracious Life, he immediately turned to the Business Banking team. “We have received so much support from Tech CU. The people who work there have been incredibly helpful and involved with my organization. Kim Vu, Herman White, Lori Cairns and Jeannie Sugaoka have all attended our events and have always made me feel that I am much more than just a ‘member’ at Tech CU.”  

    For more information about Gracious Life Foundation, check out their web site at: http://www.birdieforall.org/ 

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