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11 Mar 2020 Community

Martin ‘Putts’ on his 13th golf day in aid of Kirkwood

On Saturday 20th June, Martin Folan of Sheepbridge is set to tee off at Bradley Park Golf Course in memory of two very special people. This will be the 13th annual Charity Golf Day he's organised to raise funds for Kirkwood. And despite a set back with his health two and half years ago, Martin’s determination to continue fundraising hasn’t been dampened.

Back in 2006, Martin Folan had the idea to turn his love for golf in to a fundraiser in memory of his sister, Bridie Foster and brother-in-law, Kevin Foster, who was also fondly known as Bomber by those close to him.

Both Bridie and Kevin spent their final days on Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit. Kevin sadly died in 2004 aged just 42, and Martin’s Sister, Bridie, died the following year aged 53.

 Bridie and Kevin

Martin’s first fundraiser began in 2006 in memory of Kevin, when he gathered 20 friends and fellow golfers and set off to Galway in Ireland - where they raised a fantastic £2,600.

In 2007, the Annual Golf Day became an official event. It has grown incredibly over the years, and these days sees up to 40 groups of golfers from across Kirklees taking part; enjoying a great day out for a good cause.

Last June, the annual Golf Day raised an incredible £8,056!

Martin said: “I spent two nights at Kirkwood when my sister was on the In-Patient Unit. The support was second to none and the care was tremendous.”

Two and a half years ago, in 2017, Martin had an unexpected set back with his health. After being rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, he underwent open heart surgery.

Despite being given a worrying survival rate, Martin pulled through with the support of those around him.

“You can’t go through this experience without a fantastic family and I am a lucky man to have the best. Friends to me are for life.”

 Martin pictured with his grandson, Coley, and the heart tin-man which he bought following his heart surgery.

 

In the months following his surgery, as he was recovering, Martin was determined to continue with his plans for his annual Golf Day to ensure it still went ahead in honour of Kevin and Bridie.

Now in 2020, Martin’s plans are already well underway for this year’s event, due to be held on Saturday 20th June at Bradley Park Golf Course.

Starting the day early at 6am, Martin and his Grandson, 6-year-old Coley, work together to make the event a success, and are usually found making their way around the 18-hole course in a golf buggy.

After a busy day around the scenic golf course, the doors to Bradley Park Golf Club are then open to golfers, family, friends and members of the public to join Martin for an evening of entertainment. This year's entertainment will feature live band ‘The Heat’, a raffle and an auction, with some fabulous prizes to be won.

Beverley Shaw, Fundraising Manager said: “From the moment I met Martin, it was evident to me that he puts his heart and soul into this event each year.

“We are extremely grateful to Martin for his ongoing support and tremendous fundraising efforts. This enables Kirkwood to continue providing care to patients and families in Kirklees, as we did for his Bridie and Kevin, many years ago.”

 Martin pictured with Kirkwood's Nurse next to the Memory Tree where a special leaf has been dedicated to Bridie and Kevin.

 

Martin would like to invite all golfers from around Kirklees to join him once again this year. So why not gather a group of friends together for this year’s Charity Golf Day on Saturday 20th June. For more information, or to book your team of four for £160, click here.

We would like to express our thanks to Chadwick Lawrence Solicitors and Bradley Park Golf Course, who have continued to support Martin’s Charity Golf Day in memory of Kevin and Bridie. With the support from businesses and the local community, we can continue providing the very best care to all our patients and their families, when and where it is needed.

Martin is on the lookout for local businesses or individuals to sponsor a hole at this year’s event. If you, or someone you know may be interested, please get in touch with Martin on: 07940 380996 or email: mfolan15@gmail.com

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