Name: Nicholas Despins
From: New York Mills, New York
School: New York Mills Union Free High School
wake up early on a Sunday morning in the midst of August. The
whole family loads up what we need in the van, picks up last minute
orders, and we’re off for the day.
arrive at the golf course, which is covered in a thin layer of dew.
The sun is rising just above the hillside, painting the sky red
and yellow, leaving a silhouette of the clubhouse over the numerous
rows of golf carts.
everything needed to create a great golf tournament is in order, we
have a moment to breathe and appreciate the meaning of this day,
which is the memory of my great-grandmother. However, that time
is short lived as golfers quickly begin to enter the clubhouse.
building turns into a zoo with people milling around, anticipating
the start of the tournament. Frantically, we worked as a unit
to appease the stampede of golfers excitedly rushing through
registration, where they sign up for the poker run, the hole-in-one
contest, and the numerous raffles. Then they receive their
bagged lunches, and make their way to their carts. Finally, as the
golfers are off to their tee assignments so are the volunteers. It
is a day of non-stop work to put on this event.
though the day can be exhausting, this tournament has been a positive
family tradition for nearly fifteen years. My great-grandmother
passed away when I was very young from Alzheimer’s disease. Similar
to the disease that she suffered from, my memory of her continues to
fade away as I grow older. I can no longer picture her face or hear
her voice as I once could. Yet, to keep her legacy alive, my
family and I put on this tournament to, not only honor the memory of
my great-grandmother, but also to raise money for Alzheimer’s
research. Our goal is to prevent other families from suffering
through losing a loved one like we did.
and every cent we raise from the tournament is designated to curing
the evil disease that took my great-grandmother away from us.
Therefore, even though it requires extreme dedication to
continue this yearly event, we use the experience of losing a loved
one as a catalyst to make a difference.