Charity spotlight: H.O.P.E. Foundation

The Markum family
The Markum family

You want to talk about being put through the ringer, worrying yourself sick and losing sleep?

Not long ago, Chris and Ashley Markum’s newborn son, Ayden, arrived 14 weeks premature. Sadly, the baby suffered from a brain injury and experienced seizures. Meanwhile, Liam Byars was born at 28 weeks and has battled pneumonia and West Syndrome since, even requiring 50 hospitalizations.

As you might imagine, hospital bills mounted. Fortunately for the families, in stepped the H.O.P.E Foundation, which provides financial and emotional support to families whose children are battling pediatric emergencies.

Part of their support is because of your support of the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper, which is proud to have the H.O.P.E. Foundation on board again this year as one of its 43 charities.

The tournament, a PGA Web.com Tour stop in August in Springfield, has gifted almost $13 million for local children’s charities in 26 years, and the tournament is ready to answer the call again.

“The H.O.P.E. Foundation was a real blessing to have them help offset medical expenses,” Chris Markum said, explaining the family would drive back and forth from West Plains to a Springfield hospital daily. “It could have been 100s and 100s of dollars out of pocket just for a month’s supply.”

About H.O.P.E. Foundation

Ayden Markum and his family can enjoy life thanks in part to the help of the H.O.P.E. Foundation.
Ayden Markum and his family can enjoy life thanks in part to the help of the H.O.P.E. Foundation.

It’s probably easiest to let the families tell about the H.O.P.E. Foundation, in their own words.

For Ashley Markum, the foundation’s help lifted a weight off her shoulders. She and Chris also are parents to Isaiah, Eliza, Asa, Asher and now Ayden. In order, their ages are 10, 9, 6, 4 and 3.

“When Ayden was born, my wedding ring could fit on his foot,” Ashley said. “He’s a tough little guy for sure. He’s been through so much. The H.O.P.E. Foundation has been a real blessing.”

For Desiree Byars, mom to Liam, the foundation came through tremendously. Liam has undergone a number of medical diagnosis. But …

“Don’t let all his challenges get you down, though. Despite all the hospitalizations and road bumps, Liam is almost always smiling and laughing. He loves being around people and especially loves water,” said his mom, Desiree.

She went on, noting that Liam was hospitalized throughout October and that the family was nearly evicted from their home, as they fell on financial hard times.

Liam Byars smiles despite being in and out of the hospital the past few years.
Liam Byars smiles despite being in and out of the hospital the past few years.

“This was the first time in our lives that we’ve faced eviction, and it scared us,” Desiree said. “Just when we were ready to give up hope and started trying to figure out where we would move to, the H.O.P.E. Foundation came through for us and paid our rent, allowing us to stay in our home. Since then, our family has been able to get back on our feet, financially, but we will forever be grateful to the H.O.P.E. Foundation for their generosity during a bleak time. Thank-you hardly seems like enough to convey our gratitude!”

The H.O.P.E. Foundation began six years ago and has helped 150 families by offsetting costs such as medical travel, vehicle repair, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, funeral expenses and more. In essence, the foundation steps in when other organizations and insurance companies are unable to.

Overall, the H.O.P.E. Foundation serves the following Missouri counties: Barry, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Laclede, Lawrence, Oregon, Ozark, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Shannon, Stone, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.

“PCCC has aided in our mission by allowing us the opportunity to participate in an event that not only helps raise money for our organization, but so many other local children’s charities,” said Mary Hankins, Family Services Officer for the H.O.P.E. Foundation. “We share a common goal: to help the children of our community. We have had the opportunity to network with these organizations and let them know we are here to help. Our organization’s continued growth has been deeply impacted by the PCCC, and we are very fortunate to have formed this partnership.”

RISING STARS, RAISING HOPES

BUSINESS SPONSORSHIPS: Businesses also can support the PCCC through various sponsorships, such as the skyboxes on the 9th and 18th greens (with food badges), on-course signage and events such as a dozen Pro-Ams. Businesses also can donate a gift card with at least a $25 value in the name of your charity of choice to benefit them in the Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by Copy Products, Inc. and University Plaza.

The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.
The Ultimate sponsorship means air-conditioned seating on the 18th green and a chance to win a Corvette Stingray.

WIN A NEW TRUCK: The purchase of a $25 TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes ticket can win one of 500 daily gift cards as well as grand prizes of $10,000 and a 2016 Ford F-150 XLT. It’s also good for a four-day tournament pass.

Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.
Win this truck or $10,000 in the TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes, with a $25 buy-in.

SEE THE FUTURE OF THE PGA TOUR: The PCCC is from Aug. 5-15, with the pros beginning play on Aug. 11 at Highland Springs Country Club. For tickets or other ways to assist, call the Price Cutter Charity Championship staff at 417-887-3400.

Dawie vander Walt shows his winners trophy after the final round of the Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield on August 16, 2015.
Dawie vander Walt won the 2015 PCCC. (Photo courtesy of StidzMedia)

HELP H.O.P.E. FOUNDATION: The non-profit covers unforeseen expenses of families whose newborns and toddlers require enormous medical support. Call 417-316-3216.