Posted On: Friday, September 8, 2017
Legacy Ridge junior golfer Johnathon Coffey with PGA Tour player David Hearn.
It would be a major understatement to say July 31 was a pretty good day for Johnathon Coffey. The 12-year-old golfer from Legacy Ridge Golf Club received an award and a $4,500 cheque to pass along to the local Alzheimer’s Society, met and chatted with one of his golf idols and enjoyed a delicious dinner.
“The evening was fantastic! I got to meet awesome people and enjoy great food,” Johnathon said about his attendance at the David Hearn Foundation Charity Classic at Brantford Golf & Country Club.
Johnathon was a special guest at the dinner because he was one of two recipients of the David Hearn Foundation Kia Grant, which gives young golfers a chance to give back to their community through a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society.
The award was based on an essay submitted by Johnathon which detailed his connection to Alzheimer’s and his work to help the local organization.
“At the age of one-and-a half, I was asked to cut the ribbon as the youngest participant in the annual Walk for Memories (Grey-Bruce) fundraising event in Owen Sound; and I have participated with my family in this annual affair ever since,” Johnathon wrote in his essay.
When he was nine years old his family started a tradition of holding an annual “Coffee Break” at their church and the event has helped them raise more than $1,000 every year.
His family has a personal connection to the disease as Johnathon’s great grandmother Molly suffered from it.
“I have fond memories of visiting her at the nursing home. My brother and I used to sing songs to her to make her smile,” Johnathon states in his essay.
Hearn, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer Society of Canada, also has a personal connection to the disease through his grandmother and great-grandmother.
But it was not the only thing that Johnathon and Hearn had in common. Johnathon played this season on the Grey- Bruce Junior Golf Tour - a tour where Hearn got his first taste of competitive golf as a youngster playing out of Pike Lake Golf Centre.
Johnathon got a chance to talk to Hearn at the dinner and they chatted about the Grey-Bruce tour and the fact that Johnathon’s father Steve was still playing on it when Hearn joined the tour.
“I had a very nice conversation with David and his wife Heather. David is a very nice, down to earth person - a great role model for young golfers.
“He asked me about my golf game, my home club (Legacy Ridge) and what my best score was (90). He told me that once I break 90 for the first time, I will always break 90 because I will have the confidence in myself that I can do it!”
Johnathon said it was a real thrill to be recognized by Hearn, his foundation and Kia during the dinner.
“I am honoured to receive this award. I know that our local Alzheimer’s Society will use the money to do great things for families living with his disease.”