Michael Young

The Swing Fore Kids Golf Classic in support of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Animal Assisted Therapy Program

Jennifer Treadway, Nominator

Janey Henze, Council Advocate

To call Michael Young precocious would be somewhat of an understatement. He accomplished more in his twelfth year than many do in a lifetime.

When most boys are playing ball, Young chose to put playtime aside to do something to make a difference. He chose to help the Animal Assisted Therapy Program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital because he learned how the therapy dogs made a big difference in the lives of sick children. The certified therapy dogs not only help patients heal emotionally, but also help them heal physically. He called the tournament Swing Fore Kids’ Golf Classic and it has been a huge success. Young raised $30,000 for the Animal Assisted Therapy Program that first year.

The tournament is now in its fifth year and for the past three it has been endorsed by the Southwest Section of the PGA, and Petsmart has been the Title Sponsor for the past four. The total net proceeds of the tournament are close to $250,000. This has allowed the program to expand from 20 dog therapy teams to 40 and increased the number of trained people to escort the teams, so more children in the hospital receive therapy.

“When I see a child’s face light up at the sight of a therapy dog it makes all the hard work worthwhile.”