On Monday, October 2, 76 golfers playing in 19 teams of four battled it out at Memphis Country Club, looking to claim the title of Champion of the 24th Annual M.O.S.T. Classic.
Thanks to our sponsors, players, and other supporters, more than $200,000 was raised at this year’s Classic, our biggest annual fundraising day on the calendar. The tournament is a vital driver of our efforts to create opportunities for Memphis-area students to attend the schools best suited to meet their needs, and also a wonderful opportunity to gather with our most dedicated donors.
We’ll share the winners and thank our sponsors below, but first want to put a spotlight on Parent Ambassador Chinishe Ray, who lent her voice to the closing ceremony. A mother of three boys attending Harding Academy on M.O.S.T. Scholarships and a passionate advocate for our work, Chinishe shared her touching story and heartfelt thank you with donors. We share her remarks here in full.
Hello everyone. My name is Chinishe Ray and I’m a proud M.O.S.T. mom and as of recently, a new M.O.S.T. Parent Ambassador.
I've known about M.O.S.T. for quite a while but I was reminded about the scholarship program by the Tennessee Early Intervention System, which provided me some information when I was seeking help with my children.
My twin boys, Jace and Jaxon, were born prematurely at 30 weeks and spent six weeks in the NICU due to major medical issues. They were both diagnosed with the heart condition VSD (Ventricular Septal Disorder). Jace had to have open heart surgery at three months old. Also, when they were three months of age Jaxon was diagnosed with dysphasia and a seizure disorder. When they were infants we connected with Tennessee Early Intervention, which provided Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy. Also, on their medical team were Physician’s at LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center which included Cardiologist, Neurologist, ENT, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology and Allergy.
These medical interventions were lifesaving and the therapy programs were life-changing for my boys, and as they continue to receive medical services from the above mentioned specialists and therapists, the big missing piece for us was quality education, which is equally important. We've been working since they were born to get them caught up, and to make sure that they're on target with their peers, and now we needed a partner in education to join our team.
I never knew how being born premature was going to manifest once they started school. As I navigated a million doctor's appointments and a million therapy appointments, I started worrying about the gaps we see in public education for so many Tennessee students. My older son Kobe was about to start school, and with my younger boys’ issues weighing on my mind, I was desperately in need of an education plan that worked for my family.
When I was reminded about M.O.S.T. and applied, I made another life-changing connection between my boys and an organization that was there to offer help. The opportunities M.O.S.T. has opened for us have been everything I hoped for as a parent, and more.
Kobe just started his 3rd Grade year at Harding Academy, which is a crucial year for students in Tennessee. The education that M.O.S.T. has allowed him to access has set him up for success in this important stepping-stone year where the emphasis shifts from learning to read to reading to learn. He’s growing up on a level playing field with any student his age at any school, public or private, in Memphis. Now, so are Jace and Jaxon, who started Jr. Kindergarten at Harding this year. That’s something I don’t think the public school we are zoned to could have promised for all three of my boys.
When the M.O.S.T. team announced that they were launching the Parent Ambassador Program this year, I jumped at the opportunity to give back to an organization that has given us so much. So in the first official act of a M.O.S.T. Ambassador, I want to speak to you here today coming from a place of tremendous gratitude.
As a parent, my heart is full of gratitude for the people that make M.O.S.T Scholarships possible, a group of generous givers that includes all of you here today. What you do as donors to this scholarship program is a very big deal for families like mine, and for hundreds of others around the 901 community. Thank you so very much for your selflessness. I hope you understand how deeply and profoundly your support changes lives for the better. Kobe, Jace, and Jaxon are thriving today because of your generosity, and so are almost 4,000 more students who have and continue to get life-changing support from M.O.S.T.
Congratulations to 24th Annual M.O.S.T. Classic Winners! Check out our Faceboook page for photos!
Bob E. Mallory
Closest to the Pin:
Thank you to our Sponsors:
Jackie & Bob Solmson
Gloria & Doug Marchant
Southeastern Asset Management
Dobbs Equity Partners