It wasn’t your average day on the golf course for members at River Creek Club. Friends gathered in the clubhouse Monday to support a family and their daughter.
Micah and Lance Leggitt, parents of 5-year-old Reece, have spent the past five years in and out of Shriners Hospital for Children, working with doctors to determine the fate of their child. Twenty weeks into her pregnancy, Micah was told that her daughter would be born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, a rare condition that would affect her ability to use her arms and legs. Chances of walking, let alone survival, were minimal.
After roughly a year of surgeries, the Leggitt’s noticed they weren’t being billed for their treatments. So they decided to return the favor as they began to accept that their daughter may have the chance to live a somewhat normal life one day.
In 2013, the Leggitt family established The Golf Fore Reece Tournament to increase awareness and funds as their way of giving back to Shriners Hospital.
This year marked the fourth annual Golf Fore Reece Tournament as sponsors, donors and friends broke into groups of four and got to enjoy a day of golf, while raising money in the process.
Scattered throughout the course were water stations serving complimentary drinks and snacks as participants generously tipped volunteers, contributing to the cause.
Micah and Reece made their rounds on the golf course thanking everyone for taking the day to support them. Reece was in high spirits all day as she strutted her way around, walking with a purpose, showing us the strong independent girl she’ll grow to be one day.
As each game wrapped up, everyone joined back in the clubhouse and enjoyed some lunch, awaiting a raffle where many would be rewarded for partaking in the tournament. They were proud to have helped th Raise Your Glass foundation raise over $250,000, making the donor wall at the Shriner’s Philadelphia hospital.
“It really means a lot because we don’t expect it,” said Micah, who was more than thankful for the encouragement from her friends for her daughter, said. “Everyone’s so generous and hopeful, nobody has to do this stuff for us.”
The event was graced with a few familiar faces like former Redskins football player Mark Moseley and current star Penn State Quarterback Trace McSorley.
McSorley, whose family is a neighbor and good friends with the Leggitts, was honored to have had the chance to attend the event this year. In years past, McSorley’s football schedule prevented him from returning home but was lucky enough to have made it this year to support Reece.
Surely enough, he did not come empty handed. He donated a Penn State Football helmet signed by the entire football team, which was auctioned off at the end of the day and bought for $1,000.
Being a role model athlete himself, McSorley knows what it’s like to be in a situation to make the impossible possible.
“Hard work is a big thing. You can't let whatever it is limit you to your full potential,” said McSorley.
McSorley's words are not to be underestimated. He led the Nittany Lions to do the unthinkable in their 2016 football season— going from un-rankable in the standings to winning the B1G Championships to making an appearance at the Rose Bowl and finishing seventh in the country.
To parents out there struggling with the unknown fate of their child, Micah pleads to never give up on them.
“At times I may have questioned all of this. I’m pessimistic,” Micah said. “But every time I’m pessimistic, Reece blows me away. They’ll shock you every time.”
Coming together for a game as simple as golf can go a long way. Through the support of friends and hope from a family, a challenge can never be failed.