Thursday, June 14, 2018 || By Local News Curator || @maywoodnews || Updated: 5:19 p.m.
Featured image: Proviso East head golf coach Gerald Holmes and Terry Horan, the brother of late Hinsdale Central assistant golf coach Jimmy Horan, during “The JIMMY” on June 2. | Courtesy D209
Hinsdale Central High School’s golf team is a state powerhouse. They’ve won six consecutive state titles. Proviso East’s golf program, meanwhile, probably hasn’t had a winning record in four decades.
Both teams compete in the West Suburban Silver Conference, but they may as well have been light years apart — until tragedy brought the two programs together, their unlikely convergence sparked by a simple gesture of sympathy.
When the Hinsdale Central golf team’s assistant coach, Jimmy Horan, died from a car crash in March 2017, Gerald Holmes, Proviso East’s head golf coach, sent a card, enfolded into which was a small donation to one of the Horan family’s charitable causes and a team photo.
It was the photo that spoke the loudest.
“As I looked at the Proviso East team photo, it hit me that all of the golfers were in gym shoes,” Horan’s brother, Terry, told a Daily Herald reporter for an article the paper published in May.
“I figured this must be an under-resourced program, and wouldn’t it be great to take this team under our wing as a family,” Terry said. “We could outfit them with everything they could ever hope for to compete and win in the future.”
During a June 2 golf outing called “The Jimmy,” in honor of Hinsdale Central’s late assistant golf coach, that’s exactly what happened.
The event, held at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, “Jimmy Horan’s favorite course,” the Daily Herald pointed out, drew more than 100 participants and garnered more than $60,000 in donated equipment and other resources for the Proviso East golf team.
Members of the Proviso East and Hinsdale Central golf teams on June 2. | Courtesy D209
And so a small gesture of kindness that Holmes showed toward a competitor ballooned into that competitor donating everything from new golf shoes, uniforms and clubs to five spots reserved for Proviso East golfers to participate in Nike’s summer golf camp.
According to a statement District 209 released on June 14, the Proviso East golfers were “in awe” after realizing what they’d gotten.
“This is amazing,” Jonathan Vega, a Proviso East sophomore and golf team member, said after Terry unveiled the donations. “As we play we will always remember your generosity and the Horan family for doing this for us.”
Sophomore East golfer Maria Pinela said that the Horan family “are different type of people” who “saw an opportunity to help the people who love this sport, and not only did they improve our golf skills as well; they showed us that one act of kindness can turn into a life-changing event.”
Glen Lid, who along with Holmes and John Gibfried rounds out the East golf team’s coaching staff, lauded Horan family for molding “Jimmy into the man he was that brought us here today.”
“We are so moved by the legacy of Jimmy,” said D209 Supt. Jesse Rodriguez. “[District 209] is inspired by the fact that the Horan family has continued with the legacy of service by organizing this event for Proviso East.”
Lauryn Craine-Farries, the first female golfer in Proviso East history to play golf at the collegiate level. | Courtesy D209
The new equipment comes just as the Proviso East golf team is on the rise. This year, Holmes, who graduated from Proviso East in 2001 and was once a member of the school’s golf team himself, coached 12 male and female golfers who have graduated, according to the Daily Herald. Six golfers plan on returning to the team, the paper notes.
One of those graduates, Lauryn Craine-Farries, of Broadview, is the first female golfer in Proviso East history to play golf at the collegiate level, school officials noted in the statement.
Craine-Ferries, who was named to the Mid Suburban League West’s All-Conference Academic team, will be competing at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri in the fall. She got accepted into 27 colleges, according to the Daily Herald.
“We’re so appreciative,” Holmes told the Daily Herald. “It just goes to show you that the game of golf can bring out the best in people.” VFP
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