A seven year tradition in Hamburg is using golf to help young amputees and their families.
PGA professional Peter Fenn became a below-the-knee amputee seven years ago, but decided that he needed to continue to play golf. That’s when he started the Buffalo Amputee Golf Classic. The event brings together amputees and non-amputees alike for a day on the links, and raises scholarship funds for children who’ve lost limbs and children of amputees.
Fenn says limb loss is more difficult for children. He says adults don’t feel like they are alone with their disability.
“But with these young kids that we have and we’re sending to camp, for them to go up to camp and be with others, their peers, and see others that are doing better or not better than they are, they can find a way to feed off each other socially and culturally, and that’s my thrill,” said Fenn.
The place Fenn talked about is called Camp No Limits. It’s a specialized camp in Maine for kids with limb loss and their families. Some of the funds raised from the golf tournament this year are sending three Western New York children to the camp.
The scholarship and “campership” recipients attend the tournament to help with activities. Fenn’s wife Deborah said its “awesome for them to look around and see adults with amputations who have successfully overcome whatever emotional or psychological barriers that they might have had regarding their amputation. I think that’s something that I think has really affected them.”
Physical limitations from his amputation and the onset of Parkinson’s are making this Fenn’s last year as chair of the Amputee Classic. He will still remain involved, and Fenn has his sights set on other ambitions, too.
“Well my ultimate goal is, and I don’t know if it’s going to happen, is to maybe have a camp in this area like the ones that these kids go to,” Fenn said.
Fenn says Camp No Limits opens a lot of people’s eyes to what kids with limb loss can do. There are eight locations throughout the country, and Fenn says in the next few years he’d love for Buffalo to be a ninth.
More information about Camp No Limits can be found at its website www.nolimitsfoundation.org.
Meagan Cratsley is a teenage amputee, and recipient of one of the three “camperships” from the Buffalo Amputee Golf Classic. She and her family will attend Camp No Limits in Maine. In this video, Meagan’s mother explains how her daughter lost her right arm, and how the event is inspiring them to educate others about off-road vehicle safety.
-Video produced by Lian Bunny.