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Young Burn Victim Celebrates Birthday at Tower Classic Golf Tournament

[Laurel, MD]—Most young boys wouldn’t see themselves celebrating their ninth birthday at a charity golf tournament, but then most boys haven’t been through what Trip Black has. Burned in an unfortunate campfire accident at the age of four, Kenneth “Trip” Black was flown to the Johns Hopkins Burn Treatment Center in Baltimore, MD—the closest trauma facility of its kind to his home in Camden, DE. Trip has undergone several difficult surgeries and procedures to heal his injuries caused by the fire and he continues to receive care there. Trip and his mom, Summer, were special guests at the 35th Annual Tower Classic Golf Tournament, hosted by the TowerCares Foundation on June 2 at Renditions Golf Club in Davidsonville, MD, to benefit  the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore’s local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

TowerCares Foundation Board member Allen Brisentine surprises Trip Black of Camden, DE, with a gift of golf clubs, which he won at a raffle during the Tower Classic Golf Tournament, held June 2 by the TowerCares Foundation to benefit the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. A pediatric burn victim who continues to receive care at the Children’s Center, Trip was a special guest at the Tower Classic and celebrated his ninth birthday at the event.

Over 100 golfers participated in this year’s event, which included a full day of golf, lunch, prizes, raffles and giveaways. Tournament proceeds from players, sponsors, and donations from the business community totaled $15,000. An additional $10,000 was provided through CO-OP Financial Services’ Miracle Match program, a philanthropic matching program that encourages credit unions to create and participate in local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ fundraisers. Tower Federal Credit Union donated an additional $18,000, bringing the day’s total donation to $43,000. The money for Tower’s donation was raised earlier this year by employees and members during the credit union’s annual “Have a Heart” campaign and other employee-driven fundraisers.

During lunch at the tournament, Trip and Summer spoke about how thankful they both are to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for the excellent care Trip has received there, and for organizations like TowerCares whose donations help provide among other things, toys, furniture, and items that create a comforting, home-like environment for critically ill children and their families. TowerCares representatives surprised Trip with a birthday cake and balloons, and he beamed as the entire group sang “Happy Birthday.” The surprises didn’t stop there: when TowerCares Board member Allen Brisentine found out he won a new set of golf clubs in a raffle, he immediately turned and presented Trip with the clubs as a birthday present.

Another highlight of the day was a visit from “Scruggs,” an energetic two-year old yellow Labrador Retriever who is part of Hero Dogs, a non-profit organization that raises, trains and places service dogs with veterans. Scruggs was accompanied by Barbara Ramundo, Hero Dogs’ Deputy Director. Located in Brookeville, MD, Hero Dogs is a recent charitable grant recipient of the TowerCares Foundation.

“Part of the TowerCares mission is to help children in need,” said Rick Stafford, TowerCares Foundation President.  “The generosity of Tower Federal Credit Union members and employees, golfers, tournament sponsors, vendors and TowerCares volunteers has helped us show just how much the Tower community cares and supports this mission.  The partnership we have forged with the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and the Children’s Miracle Network is a long-standing commitment and one we are so proud to be a part not only today but every day of the year.”

He went on to say, “We are so thankful that ambassadors from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Hero Dogs were here today to share the positive impact of our donations.”