Mike Michel and Kris Carrier have a noon tee time on Friday at The Links at MassGolf in Norton, but their cart will be carrying more than just a few extra golf balls.
The two friends will load up on extra shoes, sunscreen, water and, most importantly, ibuprofen.
That’s because Michel and Carrier will be playing around the clock in the revival of a fundraiser called 24 Hours of Golf .
The coronavirus pandemic not only claimed lives and shut down businesses and schools over the past 18 months, but it has severely limited the efforts of hundreds of local charitable organizations.
Among them was the Michel Golf Fund, which since 2012 has been dedicated to raising funds to teach the game of golf to Attleboro area kids, especially those who would otherwise not have the opportunity due to financial limitations.
It’s a cause especially important to Michel, an Attleboro native who grew up in a single-parent home. He spent most of his summer days at Locust Valley Country Club, the beloved but now shuttered nine-hole course in Attleboro.
Michel, now a principal at a local insurance agency, excelled at golf at Bishop Feehan High School, earning a scholarship to Division 1 Rutgers University. He said he learned far more on the golf course than the proper grip and swing.
“The game of golf teaches so many valuable, lifelong lessons: etiquette, honesty, friendship, confidence and many, many more,” he said. “Speaking from experience, I know the game of golf can change a young person’s life. It provided me an outlet to stay out of trouble, learn important life skills and meet extraordinary people who have truly changed my life.”
Since launching his fund and beginning his 24-hour endurance test nine years ago, Michel has raised more than $150,000 to help fund free rounds of golf, lessons, clinics, tournament entry fees, equipment and memberships to The Links, a par-3 course run by MassGolf, the sport’s governing body in the state. It’s a place where many youngsters enjoy their initial rounds of golf, and it is also the home of the First Tee of Massachusetts, part of a national organization that teaches the game and its values to kids.
Michel and Carrier’s too-numerous-to-count swings will conclude at noon Saturday when youngsters who have registered in advance (the deadline was last week) will be treated to lunch and a round of golf. Joining the fundraiser this year will be a motivational speaker, former Army Staff Sgt. Greg Reynolds, a decorated combat veteran and amputee who holds the distinction of owning the Guinness record for most one-arm push-ups with a 40-pound pack in one minute.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the Michel Fund can contact the Attleboro Recreation Department or visit its website.
You can also give through GoFundMe.com.
We are glad to see this valuable charity return and offer one tip to Michel and Carrier: Bring a huge bottle of ibuprofen.