by Monte Mace
Special to The Leaven
KANSAS City, Kan. — Don’t be surprised if you see a traffic jam caused by gawkers and paparazzi snapping photos at Painted Hills Golf Course here in late June. And don’t be shocked if you see Sisters dressed in white habits and veils sinking putts on the putting green.
Attracting all the attention will be the annual golf outing to benefit the Sisters, Servants of Mary, an order of women religious with its provincial motherhouse in Kansas City, Kansas.
The 20th golf classic to benefit the Sisters is scheduled for June 26 at Painted Hills Golf Course, 7101 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, Kansas. Proceeds will go toward renovating the Sisters’ convent.
The Sisters provide in-home nursing care for the homebound and seriously ill throughout the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area — and do it free of charge.
But they wouldn’t be able to act as angels of mercy without the funds raised by events such as the golf tournament; a summer festival in June at the Sisters’ convent; a pancake breakfast in October at the Cathedral of St. Peter; a January spaghetti dinner at St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Kansas, which has served as many as 2,000 people; and a large biennial gala at Church of the Ascension, Overland Park.
The Men’s Group hosts the golf tournament, and the Mary, Health of the Sick Guild hosts the pancake breakfast and summer festival; benefactors and friends of the Sisters, Servants host the other major events. The Men’s Group and the women’s guild have members from parishes in Johnson and Wyandotte counties with support from across the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The Sisters are like celebrities at the golf tournament, according to George Gallup, who heads up the Men’s Group.
“It’s the charm of the event,” he said. “People want to see them. They have a putting contest and, one year, there was almost an automobile accident [from people staring]. One year, a photo taken by The Kansas City Star won an award. It showed the Sisters jumping up after a putt.”
The golf classic is a fun event. But it has a serious purpose. Gallup says the event raises about $25,000 per year for the Sisters and estimates the spaghetti dinner raises approximately the same amount. The pancake breakfast and summer festival generate another $18-20,000.
Those funds allow the Sisters to provide their one-on-one, compassionate care.
Father Harry Schneider, rector of St. Peter Cathedral in Kansas City, Kansas, said he appreciates the support given to the Sisters.
“The Sisters have an incredibly important ministry in this area,” said Father Schneider, who has experienced firsthand the excellent nursing care provided by the Sisters.
“Last summer after my knee replacement surgery, several Sisters came to the rectory for my nursing care,” he said. “Sister Margarita, who is trained in physical therapy, came regularly to lead me in the exercises that augmented my regular outpatient therapy.”
“My doctor was impressed with my recovery,” said Father Schneider. But he knows who deserves all the credit. “I owe it to the ministry of the Sisters.”
In turn, Sister Fabiola Fernandez, SM, who coordinates with the Men’s Group and the Mary, Health of the Sick Guild women’s group, said the Sisters have received “incalculable acts of kindness and generosity of many people in the Kansas City area.”
“These men have truly been hands and feet of the guild for all the events that these generous women host to raise funds for us,” said Sister Fabiola. “Lately, some in this group of men have decided to help in a more direct way with our ministry of caring for the sick in their homes free of charge by providing volunteer transportation for some of the families.
“The words of Jesus, ‘I was sick and you visited me,’ certainly apply.”
Register to play in the golf tournament
Registration and lunch are from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Amino Brothers Co., Inc., is the lunch sponsor. At 12:20 p.m., the Sisters will participate in a putting contest.
The four-person scramble will start at 1 p.m. The hole in one prize is a 2015 Jeep Renegade SUV, with additional par-three prizes sponsored by Overland Park Jeep Dodge Chrysler. The day will conclude at 5 p.m. with beverages, sandwiches and awards.
The golf event is open to men and women. Registration fee is $125 per individual golfer and includes lunch, green fees, golf cart and refreshments. A special family plan of $100 per golfer and sponsorship opportunities are also available.
For more information or a registration form for the golf scramble, visit the website at: www.sisterservantsgolfouting.com or contact George Gallup at (913) 342-5018 or by email at: ggallup @kc.rr.com.
Don’t miss the summer festival
Enjoy good food and fun at the summer festival to benefit the charitable works of the Sisters, Servants of Mary on June 7 from noon to 4 p.m. on the beautiful grounds of the Sisters’ convent, 800 N. 18th St., Kansas City, Kansas.
Homemade tacos and tamales, Italian sausage and barbecue beef sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream and Spanish desserts will be served. There will be games for children and booths including dolls from Mexico and povitica; a drawing for cash prizes; raffles; a variety booth; and tote bags and cookbooks for sale.
For more information about the festival, call (913) 371-3423.