The 30th annual Aspire Classic, held at Butterfield Country Club on June 22, 2015 was a huge success thanks to the many sponsors, golfers, supporters, volunteers and friends of Aspire who came out to show their support.
Each year this outing raises crucial funds for Aspire Living and Aspire Careers, which help adults with developmental disabilities experience the pride and independence of living and working in the community.
This year we hosted a pre-tournament “Golf for Everybody” clinic. Butterfield Country Club golf pros gave personalized instruction during a one-hour clinic and Freedom Golf Association, a non-profit that provides adaptive golf instruction for people with disabilities, assisted participants at Aspire who wanted to play. Together, we had a ball!
After lunch, golfers hit the greens and enjoyed a great day on a beautiful course. Following golf, golfers and guests mingled during cocktail hour, which was followed by dinner. During dinner Aspire announced Bianca Falanga and Nathan Hartley as the recipients of the ‘Outstanding Youth Leader of the Year’ award. This award honors youth leaders in the community who embody Aspire’s vision of “a community where people of all abilities live, learn and growth together.”
Seventeen-year-old Wilmette, IL resident Bianca Falanga was recognized for her leadership in starting New Trier High School’s dancEmotion Club, which provides students with developmental disabilities the opportunity to express themselves through dance and movement. The club welcomes students of all abilities and as grown threefold since inception. Nathan Hartley, a 17-year-old Naperville North High School student, was recognized for his entrepreneurial efforts in launching Uniquely Able, a home décor company that specializes in magnet boards. The mission of Uniquely Able is to create job opportunities for persons with disabilities, including cognitive and physical challenges.
“For the past 30 years, Aspire’s golf outing has recognized the leadership of our traditional supporters,” said Jim Kales, President and CEO at Aspire. “As we look to the future, we want to also recognize emerging leaders who embody Aspire’s vision. We are honored to recognize Bianca and Nate, who are pushing the boundaries of what is possible for young leaders as well as people with disabilities in our communities.”
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