Max Homa donates to Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children through RSM Birdies Fore Love
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Written by Staff @PGATOUR
Chrisie Funari reflected on the feeling of a parent being told their child has cancer.
“In one very simple, but complicated moment,” she said, “your entire world is turned upside down.”
Sadly, Funari knows this experience first-hand, as she lost her five-year-old daughter, Ava, after a long battle with stage four neuroblastoma in 2012.
However, from her family’s personal experience, she was inspired to create the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children in 2014. Its mission is to provide social, emotional and financial support directly to families managing the health and well-being of a loved one with pediatric cancer.
Their newly built, 12,000-square-foot facility in Scottsdale, Ariz. is a home away from home for the entire family and provides all its services and programs under one roof. The building features a food pantry, library, indoor playground, art studio, movie theater, and its very own “Sunshine Boutique” which allows cancer warriors to shop for toys.
In addition, the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children offers a multitude of services such as individual and family counseling, ongoing educational tutoring and job training, and K9 therapy with their service dog, Leo. They even threw a birthday party for seven-year-old cancer warrior, Veronica, and her twin sister, Zoey.
Max Homa and fellow Gala event co-chair Connor Tryhus recently visiting with their K9 therapy service dog, Leo. (Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children)
“We honestly wouldn’t have been able to get through everything without the support of the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children,” said Veronica’s mom, Kimberly. “Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children has made us feel normal again and helps us in so many ways. They make sure that we know that they care, and that they are here for us every step of the way.”
PGA TOUR player Max Homa had the opportunity to give back to Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children, thanks to the RSM Birdies Fore Love competition.
“I’m grateful to support the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children through the RSM Birdies Fore Love program,” said Homa. “I had a friend in high school who had cancer, and the support the Foundation provides to families with a child battling cancer is truly life-changing.”
Through RSM Birdies Fore Love, the player who accumulates the most birdies (or better) each week of the fall season will receive a charitable payout of $50,000 to the charity of their choice.
“At RSM, stewardship and giving back is part of who we are,” said Andy Bosman, chief marketing officer with RSM US LLP. “Stewardship has been one of RSM’s core values since our firm was founded in 1926, and RSM Birdies Fore Love has been such an amazing way to continue that tradition of making a difference in our communities. We are thrilled to be able to support such deserving organizations like Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children through RSM Birdies Fore Love.”
Homa and his wife, Lacey, were first introduced to Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children in 2019 by PGA TOUR caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay and his wife, Jen. The Mackays were neighbors of Funari before Ava was diagnosed and have been involved in the foundation since the beginning. Today, Jen serves on the Executive Board.
“We are honored to have the support of both the Mackays and the Homas,” said Funari. “Their willingness to be actively involved is something I am forever thankful for.”
When the Homas were first introduced to the organization, they attended its cornerstone event, “Ava’s Tree House Gala,” which features inspiring stories of cancer warriors, a dinner, auction, and live entertainment. Funds raised provide critical financial support to families and necessary social and emotional programs offered at the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children facility.
This year’s fourth-annual Ava’s Tree House Gala is set to take place on Nov. 11, 2023, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Max and Lacey Homa will serve as its Co-Chairs, with Jen and Jim Mackay acting as Honorary Co-Chairs.