Tourney raises money for cancer research

Published 10:14 am Monday, July 28, 2008

The 11th annual Karl Tourney takes place Monday, Aug. 18, at Austin Country Club.

It is not “just another” golf tournament.

The proceeds go toward cancer research.

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The son of Dr. Kurt and Brenda Potach, Austin, was only 2 years old in October 1994 when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Wilms Tumor.

According to his parents, he fought his cancer for three years. He had surgeries to remove three tumors and he also underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

“Karl had a God-given character that allowed him to find good in bad and bring joy and comfort to those around him,” the parents said in a statement.

The boy’s time of treatment was much less painful in 1994 that it was for children just 10 years earlier. Unfortunately, it is still a painful and scary process, especially for someone so young, according to the couple.

The money raised during the Karl Potach Memorial Golf Tournament funds the Karl Potach Foundation and is used to improve the quality of life for current and future pediatric cancer patients, and also work toward a cure.

More than $200,000 has been raised. Of that, $115,000 was donated to Children’s Cancer Research Fund at the University of Minnesota to forward pediatric cancer research.

The Karl Potach Foundation has also donated Bibles and books to area pediatric hospitals, built an aquarium on the pediatric floor at Austin Medical Center-Mayo Health System, and used monies to help families facing the financial strains cancer can bring.

The Hormel Institute has even planned to hire a new researcher to focus on Wilms Tumor.

A new program was kicked off at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester. It is called “Karl’s Pack of Hope” and its aim is to touch the lives of children facing a battle with cancer.

Through the Karl Potach Foundation, backpacks with the “Karl’s Pack of Hope” logo are filled with paper, markers, crayons and assorted items and given to kids undergoing cancer treatment.

According to the parents’ research, in 1947, the cure rate for childhood cancer was 10 percent. Because of organizations like CCRF, the cure rate was 60 percent in 1990, and today it is 80 percent.

A free youth clinic takes place Sunday, Aug. 17, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Karl Tourney begins with registration at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 18, with a pro clinic at 11:30 a.m. and a shotgun start for the tournament at 12:45 p.m.

The costs for golf, tee package, contests, dinner and program are $115 per person. Golf only is $85 per person and a cart is $20. The dinner and program are $35.

There will be a four-person scramble formal with any combination of men and/or women.