Ben Sater had vowed that before he went off to college, he would raise $1 million for the Dallas children’s hospital where he had received free treatments as a child. After eight years worth of fundraising golf tournaments for kids, the soon-to-be Austin College freshman has reached the goal, with nearly $19,000 to spare.
Organizers announced Monday that they’ve raised $1,018,842 for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, an orthopedic center that treats patients free of charge. “We got it,” the now 18-year-old told the group of kids gathered in McKinney on Monday for the second KidSwing tournament of the summer.
Ben said he initially didn’t even consider the possibility of raising so much money. The first tournament in 2003 raised about $20,000, he said. “$1 million never even crossed my mind.” But over the years, the tournament grew in popularity. Once the tournaments had raised around $500,000, he realized $1 million was possible.
The tournaments are for kids 7 to 18, so this was Ben’s last year to play. But he said the tournaments will go on and he’ll still be involved. “It’s a little bittersweet,” said his mother, Kim Sater.
J.C. Montgomery Jr., president of Scottish Rite, said that the tournaments “stand out among fundraisers for the hospital because of the involvement of children…They run it; they raise the money,” he said. The tournament has a kids committee and an adult committee. The children’s duties include choosing the T-shirt design and fundraising prizes and helping set the day’s program. It has been a huge success.