When the breast cancer diagnosis came down last summer, avid golfer Johnna Welch got it in her mind that she would fight the good fight.
So, some 13 months since she stared down cancer’s door, look is back on a golf course and, even better, supporting children’s charities through the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
Welch was among a record crowd of 114 who turned out Monday for the annual Michele Kiser Women’s Golf Clinic & Fashion Show presented by Advertising Plus.
The event, held at Highland Springs Country Club, marked the start of a two-week celebration for the 27th PCCC. A year ago, the tournament gifted more than $900,000 to children’s charities across the Ozarks.
“I wanted to get back outside and get back to playing,” Welch said. “I missed last year. And I look forward to coming as long as I can. I had it in my head that I was going to beat this (cancer).”
Welch was among numerous golfers who expressed appreciation for the event, named in honor of the former owner of Advertising Plus. Michele Kiser, who was involved in numerous aspects of the PCCC, passed away January 1, 2015 after a battle with cancer. Her husband, Marc, now runs the business.
“Michele Kiser was my very dearest friend, and I came out to learn more about this very difficult game,” said Deb Mergen. “We’ll honor her name and keep it going. She put a lot of time, effort and money and was very dedicated to the sport and the Charity Championship.”
Wendy Twitty concurred.
“I knew Michele well. She was a neat lady,” Twitty said.
Area pros spent a 90-minute morning session on the driving range offering tips about wedge shots and tee shots. The instructors were Brian Maloney, Steve Schumate, Justin Drane, Steve Harrison, Garrett Holt, Larry Ray, Bryan Daniels, Dale Fisher, Mark Ophoven, Dean Hudspeth and Max Arrowood.
“Golf’s a good sport. It’s a love-hate relationship,” novice golfer Stacye Perriman joked.
The fashion show included Stephanie Appleby, Janet Rose, Cassandra Raven and Elizabeth Walker modeling fashions from Uptown Boutique and Academy Sports.
“It’s a good cause, and I enjoy being involved in the Price Cutter,” said Rose. “They have a lot of nice people with great causes.”
“I love being a part of this event,” Appleby said. “The fashion show has always felt like an official kick off to tournament week and provides us a wonderful opportunity to relax, have fun and play dress up all for a great cause!”
Photos from the event can be found on Facebook at Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.