a chance meeting on the golf course friendship was formed that
resulted in the establishment of a charitable foundation to
benefit children facing treatment for craniofacial deformities.
meeting was between two individuals, Dr. Bob Wallace of the
UT Medical Group and Jason Williams of the Memphis Grizzlies
who became instant friends and formed the We Will Foundation
earlier this year.
met during a round of golf at Southwind," explained Williams
who is widely known by the nickname J-Will. "We became
friends and he asked me about forming a foundation to help the
children he operates on. I am always interested
in doing what I can for children."
perform surgeries on children that suffer from severe craniofacial
deformities," added Dr. Wallace. "I have traveled
to numerous countries to perform these surgeries and would ultimately
like to see this foundation become an international
from the inaugural event have been earmarked to go towards the
treatment of a young girl named Kierra who was born with Nagers
Syndrome. She has a severely deformed lower jaw that requires
her to breath through a tracheotomy tube in her neck and be
fed through a tube in her stomach.
will need complex surgeries to rebuild her lower jaw. Once it
is repositioned, and with therapy, she will be able to eat,
breath and speak more normally. Kierra will be the first child
helped by the We will Foundation.
the decision was made to stage a golf fundraiser Williams put
out the call for help for his Grizzlies family and they answered
of amateurs that signed on to help support the foundation's
efforts were paired with numerous players and top brass from
the Grizzlies organization for a day of competition at Spring
Day was marked by an atmosphere of camaraderie as Grizzlies
owner Michael Heisley, President of Basketball Operations, Jerry
West and numerous players were on hand to captain teams in the
guard Bonzi Wells received a crash course in golf technique
and exchanged high fives with his teammates after launching
a tee shot onto the par three thirteenth green at Spring Creek.
Battier, who brings an above average level of golf talent to
the table, teamed with Dr. Wallace for the Day, while Mike Miller
headed up a team that included the putting contest winner Al
Gossett - owner of Gossett Motor Cars.
the team of the day was assembled by the flamboyant Grizzlies
fan that can be seen cheering the team on from his courtside
seats at every home game - Mark Goodfellow.
supports numerous charitable golf events in the area and when
he wants to win he is capable of assembling a very formidable
group of players. His group on this day lapped the field as
they shot a mind-blowing 22 under par on the Spring Creek Ranch
Was also a finalist in the putting contest, but when the group
jokingly revoked his right to assistance from his favorite caddie,
Kurt Jones, he came up short in his effort to win the luxury
watch donated by Doran Rozen of Doran Diamond Merchant.
The day ended with a silent
auction featuring some first class memorabilia and an awards
ceremony to recognize the day's lucky winners. A substantial
amount of money was raised to benefit the We Will Foundation and
the stage has been set for a first class charitable event that
will hopefully grow with each passing year.
and Photography By