For 14 years, Val Skinner’s annual event, called LIFE (LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer), has been a standing date on each player’s calendar not only for the friendly competition but also for the event’s efforts to raise $500,000 each year for breast cancer awareness programs.
LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb says she has not missed playing in the annual event since its inception in 2000.
“It’s just an inspiring day,” said Webb, whose aunt is a breast cancer survivor. “Val does such a tremendous job. To raise half a million dollars a year through the good and the bad of the economy is amazing. It’s such an inspirational day and I always feel good about playing in it. At the end of the day you know you’re playing for a good cause.”
Webb, along with playing peers Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome and Christina Kim, all have been touched in some way by the disease. All will gather together at Hamilton Farm Golf Club to support Skinner’s event, which honors former Tour pro Heather Farr who died from breast cancer in 1993 at 28. Colleen Walker, a nine-time winner on the LPGA Tour, also passed away from breast cancer last year at 56.
But despite the seriousness of the occasion, Pressel says the event also brings the players joy as they celebrate the lives of their fellow Tour members.
“We just have a lot of laughs,” said Pressel. “It’s bittersweet because we know we’re there for a reason and we know that. Especially with the memory of Heather Farr and this year I’m sure Colleen Walker will be a part of the event. We’re there to save lives. We’re there to also remember those who we’ve lost and to make a difference in the world. Even if that means making someone smile, it’s worth it.”
Because of Skinner’s tireless commitment to the cause, the annual LIFE tournament generates one of the largest donations made from a single-day golf event and has raised more than $8.5 million through 2013. The proceeds from the tournament benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Cancer Institution of New Jersey.
Pressel says she enjoys participating in the LIFE event because it gives inspiration for her own foundation, which honors her mother Kathyrn Krickstein Pressel who also passed away from breast cancer.
“We have such a unique opportunity to be able to help each other,” said Pressel. “Val has been tremendously supportive of me and a role model to me. And the way that she runs her foundation and the amount of money that she raises, I take that with me when I look at my own event (Morgan and Friends Fight Cancer Tournament) and things that we do. I’m really looking forward to playing on Monday. I’m sure it will be another great day. They do a tremendous job. They raise so much money. We raise a lot of money but we get inspired to raise as much as they do.”
For more information about the annual LIFE event, visit www.valskinnerfoundation.org .
Topics: Skinner, Val