15th Aces for Aiden draws hundreds
Hundreds of area golfers wished Aiden McVicker a happy 18th birthday while supporting children with disabilities during the 15th annual Aces for Aiden Golf Scramble.
Nearly 100 teams participated in the two-day event with Jamey McVicker, Aiden’s father, noting a slight dip in participation due to the recent heavy rain.
“We had anticipated 103 coming in. The weather knocked a few out. We had 22 teams play Friday and 36 this afternoon (Saturday),” Jamey McVicker said. “It will be close to 100. This goes to the Aiden McVicker Charitable Fund, which is a fund we started 12 years ago in honor of our son. The money get used for children with special needs in the area.”
With supporters throughout the region, money raised for the Aiden McVicker Charitable Fund typically go to projects benefiting area special needs children. Recent examples include assisting a family in Poplar Bluff, assisting funding of playground equipment in St. Joseph and recent improvements to playground equipment in Cameron. McVicker said the AMCF donated more than $100,000 to funding special needs projects.
“This whole journey has been a beautiful process. This started during a conversation a high school friend of mine,” McVicker said. “He said ‘what can we do for Aiden?’ Our family has been pretty blessed and we use those funds to take care of others. There are gaps in funding everywhere so if we can help others that is what we want to do with it. This has been a beautiful ride and [Aces for Aiden] feels like a family reunion every year … To have this kind of support, where it just keeps getting bigger year after year, I just don’t have words to describe it.”
Saturday’s tournament seemed especially poignant considering it took place on Aiden McVicker’s 18th birthday. As part of the ceremony Lauren Peck, a member of Aiden’s graduating class, gave a solo performance of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. Amy McVicker, Aiden’s mother, thanked the attendees for supporting her son’s namesake charity. Doctors diagnosed Aiden with bilateral anophthalmia at birth after he was born with no eyes and later diagnosed him with neuromuscular scoliosis. McVicker said her family is blessed and through her own struggles she deeply sympathizes with other families struggling with a special needs child and hopes the funds raised can in some way relieve those day-to-day stresses.
“We know you’re there and sometimes that helps us get through the difficult times we face,” Amy McVicker said. “When you see him and all of the lives he touches, it’s so worth it. It’s not easy, but it’s so worth it … We can’t thank you all enough. We are the ones blessed to have you in our lives and supporting what we believe in. We could not do it without you.”
For more information on how to support the Aiden McVicker Charitable Fund, visit them online at www.aidenmcvicker.com.