2012-08-01 / Sports

Hamill's Will2Walk still growing

Local fundraiser produces $12,000 for charity
BY DALE BALL
Sports Editor


Over 150 people showed up Saturday morning at Huron Shores Golf Club to participate in the Third Annual Will2Walk Golf Scramble. The event raised over $12,000 for the Will2Walk Foundation, established by Deckerville High School grad Richard Hamill. (Photo by Dale Ball) Over 150 people showed up Saturday morning at Huron Shores Golf Club to participate in the Third Annual Will2Walk Golf Scramble. The event raised over $12,000 for the Will2Walk Foundation, established by Deckerville High School grad Richard Hamill. (Photo by Dale Ball) Richard Hamill set his sights high when he began the Will2Walk Foundation a few years back.

The organization, established to help people with spinal cord injuries, is climbing more steps toward some lofty goals, thanks, in part, to some fundraisers like his recent Will2Walk golf outing at Huron Shores Golf Club.

The third annual event netted over $12,000 behind a record 152 golfers and the continued support from sponsors.

"This was definitely a success. Anytime we make $10,000-plus, we're doing well. We had over 200 for lunch on Saturday, including the golfers, ..... and there was a (local) wedding that probably took away from our numbers," Hamill said. "There were a lot of new faces, a lot of regular faces, and the weather was perfect."


Rich Hamill (center) poses with family members just before the start to Saturday's Will2Walk Golf Scramble. Also pictured are (front), his nephew, Nicholas Jozsa; and, (back row), brother-in-law and sister Dave and Jill Jozsa, mother Lila, and father Cecil. (Photo by Dale Ball) Rich Hamill (center) poses with family members just before the start to Saturday's Will2Walk Golf Scramble. Also pictured are (front), his nephew, Nicholas Jozsa; and, (back row), brother-in-law and sister Dave and Jill Jozsa, mother Lila, and father Cecil. (Photo by Dale Ball) Hamill, in 1992, during his senior year at Deckerville High School, was paralyzed from the neck down in a motor vehicle accident. He has since regained use of his hands and arms through extensive rehabilitation.

Now in the insurance business in Gilbert, Arizona, where he established the Will2Walk Foundation, Hamill is beginning to see the project produce positive results.

"Effective in 2012, we've been writing grants," Hamill remarked. "You have to make money to do that. This is the first year we've been able to to do the grants.

"We've already granted over $10,000 to two individuals - one for a handcycle and one for a wheelchair that was not fitted properly," added Hamill. "Our goal this year is to grant over $15,000."

Will2Walk has also been producing a documentary film that is getting closer to completion. The film will show people without disabilities what difficulties victims of spinal cord injuries must face in their day-to-lives. Hamill said that there are over 125 hours of footage right now that he is trying to edit down.

The foundation now, pointed out Hamill, is also being benefitted by a growing, knowledgeable board of directors.

He explained, "We've expanded our board and we are getting more experience involved." He continued, "Right now, we're at a critical stage. We are starting to get recognized more, nationally. With larger corporations getting involved, that means more money, and that means we can do more.

"The biggest thing now is that we're helping individuals - putting money where it needs to go."

For more information on Will2Walk, please check out Hamill's website, www.will2walk.org.

Meanwhile, the 4th annual Will2Walk Golf Scramble at Huron Shores GC is set for Saturday, July 27, 2013.

On a personal note, Rich and his wife, Alesha, are looking forward to parenthood. Alesha will soon give birth to twin girls.

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