Good Sports: PGA golfer supporting Valley hospital

October 12, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Valley native is showing his support for cancer research at a local children's hospital.

The PGA golfer is donating a lot more than just a check.

At his day job, Clovis native Kevin Chappell is doing everything he can to shoot the lowest score possible on the PGA tour.

But when he's off the course Chappell is doing everything he can to raise the spirits of patients at Children's Hospital Central California as high as possible.

"It was a really easy decision once I came to the hospital. Getting to meet patients, getting to meet the doctors and staff that make this place as wonderful as it is, it was really a no brainer for me," Chappell said.

This past May the 26-year-old Chappell launched a philanthropic program at Children's Hospital called Champions for Children's which raises money and awareness for the children's oncology program.

"So helping us create better access, better customer experience, do more for the kids, make their stay better. It's never fun to be in the hospital. But certainly we want to have as fun of an environment as we can," CHCC President and CEO Todd Suntrapak said.

Anyone can donate a check to a great cause, but the Buchanan High graduate donates his time to see first-hand how his efforts are helping the children who need it.

"Making relationships, making a difference. Seeing each one of them smile when they make a putt. Or making them laugh or when they make me laugh. It really is an honor for me to be here and get to meet these kids," Chappell said.

"His time is creating a window into getting better and going on with their lives and what they might become. It's very inspiring to them and very inspiring to all of us," Suntrapak said.

And along with his girlfriend Elizabeth, Chappell isn't done looking for ways to make Champions for Children's a success.

"I'm starting to hit up my peers on the PGA tour and try to let them know what I'm doing. Eventually maybe have a golf tournament in town and really put Central Valley Children's Hospital on the map," Chappell said.

One step at a time, one smile at a time - odds are, Chappell will get the job done.


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