Dozens of Team In Training athletes "work" the concession stands at the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament every year and the donations they make during the five-day tournament go towards their fundraising efforts. While very lucrative, working the tournament is a physically demanding experience. Below, Team Five Alive Coach Connie Martin talks about her team's time at the Byron.
"When asked to pinch hit on the blog this month, by my sister and fellow Team 5 Alive member, Kelly Nesbit, the first thing to write about that came to my mind was the FUNraising experience of the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament this past month.
I was told working the Byron Nelson is not for the faint of heart (I had that covered, after all I am a marathon runner). It would be challenging BOTH physically and mentally over the grueling four days that I had signed up to work. Let me tell you, they were right! It was a beating. My body was sore from lugging around 50 pound bags of ice. My hands bled from what I think was getting cut by a beer bottle caps, though I could not feel because my hands were numb from being repeatedly dipped in a bath of ice water. I made enough pulled pork and brisket sandwiches to feed an army. All the while I heard each one of the people working the counters say 'All tips go to fight blood cancer' over and over and over again. We made record breaking tip/donations this year due to the persistence!
My TNT coaches will be heard saying at least once during a season, right when you are thick into training, 'there will be a time when you will have to dig deep and remind yourself, no matter how rough training gets, it will always be better than cancer.' I actually like to train, so really have never had to go there in my psyche until May 22, 2016. I vividly remember pulling out of my driveway to drag myself to the last day of the Byron. I was tired, my body ached, I am sure I was dehydrated and frankly, I could have come up with a whole lot of other options with how I could have chosen to spend the day. And that is when I had the serious conversation with myself of, 'This has to be better than chemo, better than being diagnosed with blood cancer.' I knew my motivation was to go! I had team members relying on me! Just like I know there is more work to be done in eliminating blood cancers from this planet.
The final numbers are not in just yet, but it is estimated Team 5 Alive raised about $40, 000 in the five days of the Byron Nelson 2016. Awesome job team! I am proud and honored to call all of you my immediate family.
And lastly, I would be amiss if I did not give a huge shout out to Rick Tidwell who has relentlessly been the patriarch of the TNT opportunity at the Byron and a huge supporter of the Team 5 Alive mission of raising $250,000 for LLS by February 2017."
Kelly and David Nesbit are the co-team captain of Team Five Alive. The Nesbits and their teammates will be posting monly as they work to raise $250,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of David's fight.