I came across this story back several years ago and have modified it with some of my own words and thoughts (not sure from where I got the original story or I would give credit). This afternoon I thought I would share it as an illustration of Kindness, Grace, and Generosity.
In 1991, Tom Weaver was a 39-year-old husband and father. He and his wife had two girls Emily who was 12 and Karen who was 8. He was an avid golf fan. He had begun to share his passion for golf with his daughter Emily. They had taken golf lessons together and this had become a real father daughter time for them. In the summer of 1991 he went to the PGA championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Indiana with some friends. Tom never returned home from that trip. You see Tom was struck and killed by lightening the very first day of the tournament. A storm rolled in quickly and they sounded the alarm on the course to get off. Tom and his two friends where in sight of the van, when Tom was struck and killed. Emily was at camp when the accident happened and her grandmother and aunt went to camp to get her and tell her what happened. Emily says all she remembers from that night is that she cried herself to sleep on the way home. If you would ask Emily what that weekend was known for, she would tell you it was the time her father died. Now if you ask an avid golf fan what happened that weekend you will hear a much different story.
In 1991, John Daly was a 25-year-old professional golfer who was struggling with his game and with his finances. He was listed as the 9th alternate to get into the PGA championship that weekend. That meant nine people had to drop out before the first day of the tournament if he would be able to play, those were tough odds. The night before the championship John got the call to play because the ninth person had just dropped out. He headed there to play in his beat up car. This turned out to be a miracle weekend for Daly, as the ninth alternate he played so very well that he won the championship. He won $230,000 that day. This was the first real money John had ever made. He owed much of it because he was in severe debt from traveling the PGA circuit and having just bought a home. John since that time has had real ups and downs in his personal life and his career. But John did something after winning in 1991 that is still not too well known.
John was well aware, as all the golfers were that Tom Weaver was killed that weekend. John felt as though he need to do something for this family. He did not know what to do but learned that Weaver had two young daughters. John went through the PGA because he did not want any publicity and donated $30,000 of his winnings to create a college trust for Emily and Karen. One of the things the Weavers worried about was their daughter’s college education. Karen and Emily said they did not realize the value of what was given to them until they were nearing the end of High School. They were able to both go to college and not have to worry about Student Loans or how they would pay for their education. Karen said that the money being donated helped motivate her to doing her very best.
Something else is that John Daly never had any contact with the girls or the family. Tom’s wife remarried in 2000 and a few years ago her new husband emailed Daly through his website and told him how the girls were doing. Emily graduated from the College of DuPage and is now a respiratory therapist at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Ohio and Karen had graduated from the University of Indiana with a degree in Biology and went on to Medical School. Daly’s act of kindness and grace has and is paying off in many ways. There are people who will be helped physically/medially because these girls can give back in the medical profession and Daly’s kindness, grace, and generosity play a part in the helping others. Daly’s graciousness, generosity, and kindness in this situation is a model for all us.