Betsy King is the 2014 female recipient of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award

You don’t collect 34 career LPGA Tour victories (six majors) and more than $7 million in career earnings without being skilled at avoiding trouble on golf courses, water hazards included.

Hall of Famer Betsy King’s new mission in life — she said this is more significant than anything she ever accomplished with a golf club — is helping people avoid hazardous water.

King will visit Tulsa on June 16 to be honored as the 2014 female recipient of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award.

Created in memory of a former Oklahoma State and three-time U.S. Olympic basketball coach, Iba Awards are presented annually by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to male and female athletes who excel in their sport and who show, by their actions, a desire to help others.

King is helping on a global scale. Her primary charitable venture is Golf Fore Africa, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing help and hope to children and women in African nations. She said more than $2.5 million has been raised thus far and the goal this year is to generate a million dollars in order to bring clean water to Zambia.

“Here I am living in the desert of Arizona where it rains about nine inches a year and I don’t have to ever think twice about where can I get clean water,” King said during a telephone interview.

But she said some people in African nations (and the task is often the responsibility of women and children) must walk up to five miles to find water and they might have to lug containers back and forth several times a day.

And, at the same time, it probably isn’t clean,” she said. “It may not be clean. And then you are faced with a choice of well, do I drink it to survive knowing that it could make me sick? It’s just something that I can’t even imagine.”

King indicated that treks for water prevent children from going to school and prevent women from devoting their days to other matters. Read More>>

Betsy King with 2014 recipient of the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award, Larry Fitzgerald

Topics: King, Betsy

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