This summer, the Wichita community will have the chance to celebrate the Air Capital Classic Web.com PGA Tour event at Crestview Country Club and support Envision, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the blind and visually impaired, at the SPLURGE! Tee Off party on Friday, June 9.
The celebration, sponsored by SPLURGE! and Air Capital Classic, is the first night of a week-long schedule of activities surrounding the tournament, which begins Thursday, June 15. Each year, proceeds from the opening night event are given to a local charity. This year, a panel of board members selected Envision from more than 50 applicants.
“SPLURGE! Night has become our opening night tradition — a class event raising money for a great charity,” says Roy Turner, tournament director. “Kind of sums up the tournament.”
Local programs for the blind
Heather Hogan, senior vice president of Foundation and Mission Services at Envision, says that money raised through this year’s event will go toward the Envision Child Development Center and the Envision Golf Clinic.
Each summer, Envision hosts a six-week golf program that teaches blind and visually impaired children and adults how to play golf.
“We want to open up the world and help them experience things that everybody else does — the only barrier is accommodation and accessibility. They are completely capable, they just lack that one sense,” Hogan says.
Golfers in the program are taught to swing, chip and putt by feel. A mentor then lines them up for each shot and helps them locate their balls.
“It levels the playing field and gives them an outlet for exercise and an experience they might not typically embrace,” Hogan says, explaining that Envision’s golf program is part of the organization’s core focus to enhance quality of life for those who are blind or low vision. The golf program is also a central tenant of its education program for children from birth to five years old.
“We want (blind and visually impaired individuals) to learn that they can operate independently from others and enjoy a great quality of life. This funding will help push our initiatives further. We really appreciate being selected,” Hogan says.
The Envision Child Development Center is the only childcare center and preschool in the nation located at an agency like Envision that serves both typically sighted and blind or visually impaired students. Its goal is to prepare students for school through an engaging curriculum that embraces STEM materials and concepts in a unique environment that benefits both sighted and blind and visually impaired children.
“Blind and visually impaired children learn to adjust to a sighted environment and discover they have the capacity to thrive, and the typically sighted children learn empathy skills,” Hogan relays.
For more information about Envision and ways you can get involved, visit www.envisionus.com, or contact Jennifer Brown, volunteer coordinator, at 316-440-1529, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the date
The annual SPLURGE! Tee Off party for the Air Capital Classic golf tournament will be held at Crestview Country Club, 6:30-9:30 p.m., Friday, June 9.
Tickets for the event, held in the air-conditioned BKD Suite on the 18th green, are $75. This year, the party will be followed by post-event music, dancing and a breakfast inside Crestview Country Club.
For the sixth year, Douglass Wealth Management is sponsoring the helicopter golf ball drop, with the top prize — $1,000 shopping experience at Bradley Fair, including dinner and a limo for four — going to the ball closest to the pin.
“Envision does such great work in so many ways for this community,” says Mark Douglass, managing partner at Douglass Wealth Management. “We are excited for them to be part of this event and can’t imagine a better fit than to have Envision’s blind golfer program benefit from this event.”
For more information and to purchase tickets for the SPLURGE! Tee Off event in June, go to aircapclassic.com. The site also lists all activities and events surrounding the PGA Tour stop in Wichita, along with volunteer and ticket information.