It’s often this time of year you begin to see golfers put their clubs up for the season. Tuesday, one Northland golfer and former WWII vet put his clubs up, but it was after a round that had far more meaning.
Fred Clark came to the Club at MariMack in Kearney, Missouri to play what would be his last round of his life.
The 92-year-old Clark is in the late stages of brain cancer and currently under hospice care. The gift to play this last round was courtesy of Crossroads Hospice’s Gift of a Day program. Crossroads is a non-profit group that provides last wishes like this to terminally-ill people throughout the greater Kansas City area.
Clark has played golf for most of his life first picking up the game at the age of 12. The only interruption of his play came when he served in WWII in the US Navy. While in the service, he was awarded two Purple Hearts telling us that “he had to take a couple swims” to earn them.
He had a bit of a knack for the game of golf. At one point in his life he maintained a 4 handicap. Old age never slowed him down, he even won a trophy in an amateur tournament 3 years ago.
Both Fox 4 and KCTV 5 covered this story. You can watch their news reports below:
We sat down with Tracy Bunch, Gift of the Day Coordinator of Crossroads Hospice, before Clark arrived at the course. She explained a little bit about hospice care and what it’s intended to do. The goal is to keep patients like Clark comfortable and live life to the fullest in their last days.
The program has a small budget, but the majority of wishes are funded by members of the community. Anyone interested in helping can visit the Crossroads Hospice website by clicking HERE. Bunch said that there are numerous businesses and organizations in the metro that often demonstrate incredible generosity in helping grant the wishes she tries to fulfill.
Bunch told us that her job is emotional, but incredibly rewarding.
“I get out much more than I think we give. It’s rewarding to give our patients that final wish whether it’s as simple as seeing a specific loved one one more time, or something larger like trying to get a veteran his Purple Heart and on an Honor Flight.”