Judy Kegel, a member of the Lancaster Country Club hosting the U.S. Women’s Open in July this year, and won by In Gee Chun (affectionately called Dumbo because of her extraordinary hearing). After the event, Kegel sent a note to Ms. Chun asking her to sign a golf flag as something to be auctioned in their annual fundraiser to benefit Lancaster Cancer patients.
Kegel was happy to receive the flag, but the good news kept coming, Chun had signed not one, but three flags, an autographed photo of her holding the Winner’s Cup, and a check for $10,000. Chun won over $800,000 when she came out on top at the Open, but she also grew up in very poor circumstances in South Korea. So Kegel knew the money was above and beyond for a place Chun had been for only one and a half weeks during the tournament.
Chun and her coach, Won Park, both sent notes with the package. Chun mentioned how much she had enjoyed her time in Lancaster, feeling welcomed, and shared her feelings that the cancer patients were the true heroes. The coach said Chun regretted more could not be contributed to the cause.
Kegel kept the gift secret except for creating a new category of sponsors for the annual Swim and Swing Fundraiser – Diamond Level. So when she was able to announce it at their celebratory dinner and share the story, donating one of the flags to the club, one went for auction at the fundraiser for about $700. And one is waiting for the right moment and place to go – possibly at another auction to benefit those in need of health care services in Lancaster. Chun’s gift was their largest of the year so far.
If Chun has the opportunity to return to their community again, there is no doubt she will feel even more welcomed by them at succeeding visits. Her gift was gracious and generous and should be commended. Many people give to the places they grew up or the schools they attended. Ms. Chun made her swing count on the green grass that wasn’t home.