QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -
As a 13-year-old Quincy golfer Alex McCulla grew up playing the game he loves.
"There is something about (golf) I just like," said McCulla. "It's my favorite sport and I love to do it."
This year, however, Alex will be golfing for the first time in Quincy's largest golf tournament, the Pepsi Little People's Golf Championship. Thanks in part to to the generosity of one of his competitors McCulla was set to pay his own way before McLaughlin stepped in.
It started as a school service project for the 15-year-old McLaughlin, of St. Louis. Soon, it became a mission as McLaughlin took it upon himself to raise money and help a few golfers register and pay for the annual tournament.
"We had a raffle and we had a lot of friends who donated, who got their friends to donate, so it was kind of like a fundraiser," said Jimmy.
"He also had donation boxes in the public courses around St. Louis and told them the story about the opportunity to sponsor some kids and maybe make some dreams come true," said his father Jim McLaughlin during his son's Monday practice round at Westview Golf Course.
Through his fundraising efforts Jimmy was able to raise around $2,400 and donated the proceeds. McCulla and 16-year-old Tadiwanashe Dzude of Zimbabwe were the beneficiaries.
"I was really surprised by the generosity because there were some people who would donate hundreds of dollars," Jimmy said.
"It was really surprising because I didn't think they would have the generosity to do that."
For Alex and Tadiwanashe the generosity shown by the McLaughlin's means a lot as they gear up to face some of the best young talent from around the world.
"I appreciate it a lot because he gave me the opportunity to play for free," said Alex.
And Alex says he won't let the opportunity go to waste.
"I just hope I can get the win and get it for Quincy," he said.
Because of the large amount of money the McLaughlin's were able to raise they were actually able to save some donations and will be using that money to help even more golfers compete in Quincy next year.
Content Courtsey of WGEM.com