Physically challenged tee off at Elkridge event


October 05, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

BILL HERNDON smiled broadly as he hit golf balls Wednesday at The Timbers at Troy golf course in Elkridge.

He had not played golf since a stroke left him paralyzed on one side and forced him to retire in his 40s.

Herndon was one of 56 players who registered for the morning "Learn to Golf" clinic for the physically challenged, organized by Bill Thies and Peter Beck.

Thies is assistant to the chief administrative officer, Raquel Sanudo. Beck is administrative aide to County Councilman Charles C. Feaga.

Elkridge residents Edgar Shilling, Mark Kendall, Sean Kelly, Jim Heller, Raymond Faith, Ken Byerly, Mike Dorsey, John Frank and Charles Vassalls swung their clubs.

Golfers Rick Barnes, Darrel Drown, Janet Brown, Feaga, Gary Jones, Mike Rund, Larry Dixon, Jerry Mullett, Godfrey Garvey, Tom Welsh, Thies and Edward Hauser came from Ellicott City.

Beck, who is paraplegic, was injured in an agricultural accident 18 years ago.

He had swung golf clubs with his brother before he was injured and had watched Feaga, Gail Bates and others play golf.

This spring, Beck received a copy of Enable magazine -- unsolicited -- and read an article that described how the physically challenged could play golf using a special adaptive cart.

He had wanted to find a sport to play with his two sons, David, 6, and Spencer, 4.

Within months, Beck and Thies had visited clinics and golf courses, identified specialists who could teach the necessary skills and persuaded Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks to buy and borrow adaptive carts for The Timbers at Troy clinic and tournament.

The Timbers at Troy course was designed and built by The Rainmaker Golf Development Inc., a local company whose offices are on Main Street in Ellicott City.

The company, founded by two brothers -- Scott and Todd Arterburn -- specializes in designing and building golf courses.

Todd Arterburn, elder of the brothers, said that the company tries to design its courses to be accessible to the physically challenged, especially public courses such as Timbers at Troy.

All bunkers, tees and greens have at least one entrance that is at the same grade as the turf, so they are accessible by adaptive cart.

The Rainmaker Foundation, a foundation run by the Arterburns, provided a grant of $2,500 to subsidize the day's events, making them affordable for the players.

The clinic cost $10 and the open tournament, $40.

Both events included lunch.

The foundation also subsidizes after-school golf programs at three Howard County schools, including Elkridge Landing and Ellicott Mills middle schools.

About 10 to 12 students participate in these programs from each school.

Jeff Freimanis coordinates the program at Elkridge Landing.

Mark Czapski is coordinator of the program at Ellicott Mills Middle School.

The foundation pays for clubs, equipment, balls, guidebooks and lessons for the program.

It also subsidizes the range fees.

Todd Arterburn lives in Montgomery Knolls in Ellicott City with his wife, Linda, and their children Travis, 6, and Kirsten, 4.

The family attends Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City.

Scott Arterburn, the younger brother, lives in Elkridge next to the 13th hole.

He started playing golf when he was 6 and "couldn't wait" to play golf with his father.

The golfers included the blind, amputees, and those suffering from multiple sclerosis or the results of a stroke.

The special golf carts allow players to take a swing while they are supported in a seat that swivels.

Peg Browning, a member of the Howard County Commission on Disability Issues and longtime resident of Elkridge, watched the event and gave it an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Browning said the golfers might not get good scores, but "every golfer gets a sense of satisfaction when they connect with the ball."

Homecoming time

The Howard High School football team hopes to connect with a football at its homecoming game at 1: 30 p.m. Saturday.

Also scheduled are a parade at 10 a.m., a tailgate party in the parking lot at lunchtime, and a dance at 8 p.m.

This year, the school will initiate its Lion's Pride Athletic Hall of Fame.

Physical education teacher Dan Ross, Lion's Pride officer Frank Tortella, and former athletes Doug Duvall, Ed Kasemeyer, Robert Reid and Darrin Chapman selected 37 athletes to be honored this year.

Those selected include graduates from 1955 to 1992.

Twenty of the 37 honorees have said they plan to attend -- including brothers John and Jeff Merson, and George Peterlik and his daughter Emily.

Sam Harris is traveling from Germany. Coming from lesser distances are Ed Geisler, Buck Ash, Mimi Atwell, Diane Schulte, Bob Reid, George Boetler, Donna Kolak, Eric Wilson, Steve Brownley, Elbert Robinson, Scott Swope, Wayne Wilson, Kevin Wynne, J. B. Marquette and Marco Kornegay.

The athletes will be honored at a luncheon at 11: 30 a.m. and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame before the game.

Ross has not located John Shaw, Richard McCauliff, Laurie Governor or Steve Sietma. If anyone has addresses or phone numbers for these athletes, call Ross at 410-313-2867.

As Howard prepares for its homecoming, students at Centennial High School will be taking down the floats they created for their annual parade.

This year, seniors cut bamboo from Derek Revella's yard to help create the forest for their float.

Jocie Paulis rode on the float dressed in the school's mascot, an eagle.

The floats were based on the song "Jungle Boogie," made famous by Kool & the Gang.

Pub Date: 10/05/98

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