Wando teacher and friend tee off to fight Leukemia and Lymphoma

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kirk Beilke and Steve Meyer tee off in a golf marathon June 2 to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. PROVIDED

Three years ago, Kirk Beilke played a 24-hour golf marathon as a fundraising event to help in the fight against leukemia.

This month, Beilke, a teacher at Wando High School, and friend Steve Meyer return to the fairways to help the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) continue the battle.

Beilke and Meyer begin a 24-hour golf marathon June 2 at the Daniel Island Club course and expect to play more than 130 holes to raise money for the LLS in honor of Beilke’s 11-year-old son, Cliff, who continues his fight with leukemia, and Meyer’s mother who passed away from kidney cancer three years ago.

The event raised $16,000 for MUSC, Camp Happy Days and Courageous Kidz in 2011. This year, the pair hopes to raise $25,000 to donate to the LLS to aid in research initiatives and community outreach.

“Cliff is doing better and things are going well, but we still wanted to continue to help raise awareness and money for the professionals who helped save his life and others in the similar situations,” Beilke said. “It’s not a death sentence anymore and MUSC and organizations like the LLS are huge reasons why.”

The 2011 marathon was organized as part of Cliff’s Cause, a fundraising program designed by Beilke and his students at Wando High School. Meyer is representing the Burton-Meyer Group, a UBS firm, participating in the LLS Man and Woman of the Year (MWOY) campaign. The MWOY campaign is a fundraising competition for blood cancer research in its first year in Charleston. Meyer’s personal experiences with friends and family battling cancer and friendship with Beilke inspired him to join in this year’s golf marathon.

“It’s just a matter of time before someone you love or know is affected,” Meyer said. “There’s no way to escape it until we find a cure. They’ve made great strides in research and we’re getting closer all the time.”

The Daniel Island Club is allowing Beilke and Meyer to use the course for free. The club is offering carts for friends and volunteers to show support, but Beilke and Meyer will walk the entire 24 hours. The pair will tee off at 6 p.m. and play with glow-in-the-dark golf balls at night. They hope the uniqueness of the fundraiser will draw enough attention and inspire the local community to help.

“The first time, I wanted to do something shocking that nobody had done and I think it worked,” Beilke said. “This time we hope to continue that success. I dare anybody to challenge themselves to give back however they can. It’s the best feeling you’ll have.”

To help, visit www.mwoy.org/pages/sc/lc14/smeyer or contact Julie Holton at 404-790-3060 for more information on how to donate.

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