Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Didn't get a chance to finish your story? Purchase a day pass digital subscription for only $1.00 and you'll receive unlimited online access for one day (24 hours). You will have immediate access upon completion of your purchase.

newlogo4.png

    The Christ Starfish Foundation’s 3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament is slated for Saturday, July 20 at Winchester Golf Club. The outing benefits three different Indiana children’s hospitals in  including Riley, Lutheran and Peyton Manning.

     The event, sponsored by Whitinger and Company Accountants and Consultants, is a 4-person scramble format with a 1 p.m. start. Registration begins at 11:30 p.m. Cost is $60 per golfer ($240 per foursome).

    Your registration will include an 18 hole round of golf, tee gift, dinner and a prize fund. Hole sponsorships are $75 or $300 for a four-person team and a sponsorship.

     There are plenty of prizes to be awarded including a Team Optional Skins Pot, a Closest to The Pin contest and a Longest Drive Contest.

    There is also a dinner of cubed steak, mashed potatoes, Wick’s pie and drinks following the tournament as well as a silent auction. Non golfers can come and enjoy the dinner at 5:30 pm for $15.

     The tournament’s silent auction features numerous items, among them include gift certificates to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, an autographed Masters Flag and various gift certificates to merchants and restaurants near and far.

     Christ Starfish Foundation is a Christian organization that helps hurting children with non-cancer illnesses and their families at fifteen hospitals in four states including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Indiana. The director and founder of Christ’s Starfish is 1972 Winchester Community High School graduate Carldon Lahey.

     The organization provides two services. First they provide support to the child life specialists for all of the hospitals they serve. One of the biggest ways they do this is to provide Christmas presents to the children who are in the hospital on Christmas Day.

     They also provide support to the families of children. The hospitalization of a child requires that at least one parent be with them during their stay. This often results in missed work and no pay.

    Examples of expenses they may help with would include rent or mortgage payments, electric bills, phone bills, gas expense, and food.

History of the Christ Starfish Foundation

     In January 2007, Carldon  Lahey read an article in the Florida Times-Union about an 18 year old patient at Wolfson Children’s Hospital by the name of A. J. Donohue. The article told how A.J. organized a fundraising campaign to help Wolfson while battling a fatal illness.

    Using his web site, A.J . offered stickers with his logo for a $2.00 donation. Within six weeks, he had raised $50,000 in donations from around the world, meeting his goal two days before his death.

     Reading this article was a transformational moment. It was the first of many such moments that we at the foundation describe as “God Moments” . The Christ’s Starfish Foundation was established and our journey with Wolfson Children’s Hospital began.

    Although originally not knowing the true purpose of the foundation they were asked by oncology social worker Johnna Heavner at Wolfson to assist non-cancer children and their families.

    As an oncology social worker she had access to two organizations providing assistance to cancer patients but her colleagues serving non cancer kiddos had very limited resources.

    In November 2008, they were contacted by Billy Woods, a good friend and attorney. Billy’s son Riley had been at the Shands Hospital in Gainesville, FL as a child. He had a desire to “give back” to the institution that had done so much for him years earlier.

    When Riley expressed a desire for the organization to partner with him, they took that as a call from the Lord and they obeyed. As a result, they began their journey to serve God by assisting the children and their families at Shands Hospital.

     In May of 2009, Carldon had the opportunity to work as an escort for the golfers at the Players Championship Golf Tournament in Ponte Vedra, FL.

    He was randomly assigned to work with pro golfer Boo Weekley along with several other golfers for the week.

     As the week progressed, Carldon learned that Boo and his wife Karyn had two children born at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, FL. When Karyn said her and Boo would help if Christ’s Starfish wanted to work at Sacred Heart, this began their work in Pensacola.

     One of the highlights of their work has been spreading joy to all of the children who are confined to the hospital on Christmas Day by providing gift bags stuffed full of presents each year.

    In 2011, they expanded into Atlanta, GA by partnering with Egleston and Scottish Rite children’s hospitals.

     With dedicated leaders, many individual donations, and Pepsi as an amazingly generous partner, their first Christmas in Atlanta saw 140 children at Egleston receive presents and a great number at Scottish Rite.

     They since have expanded to Blair Batson’s Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in Mississippi.

    Those interested can sign up at Winchester Golf Club. Make checks payable to Christ’s Starfish Foundation. Proceeds from the golf outing benefits Riley Hospital for Children, Lutheran Children’s Hospital and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital.

    For more information about the tournament call Chris Lay (director) at 765-744-2760.

    For more information about Christ Starfish Foundation can be located at www.christstarfish.org.