BROOKSVILLE — Billy Healis, single-handedly, is raising money for an 8-year-old local leukemia patient whom he's never met.
Two hands, actually, for that's what it takes to play golf.
Healis is among a group of golfers aiming to play 100 holes of golf Monday in the Children's Dream Fund Golf Marathon at Emerald Greens Golf & Country Club in North Tampa.
He has solicited pledges from friends, families and co-workers at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Ridge Manor to chip in a contribution for every hole he completes. Pledges range from $1 a hole upwards.
The proceeds will go to a trust fund for Cole VanHoy of Brooksville, recipient of an internationally donated bone marrow transplant nearly 7 1/2 months ago but who still battles the disease. His parents are Dara Dougherty and Randy VanHoy.
If he can meet his goal of 100 holes, he'll raise $6,000 for Cole.
Healis, who recently finished second to Jim Adkins in the County Commission District 5 Republican primary, learned of the Children's Dream Fund through a presentation to the Brooksville Rotary Club. He wanted to learn how he could help.
"Through Wal-Mart," said the distribution training manager, "we participate in a lot of fundraisers," he said. And golf is his game, which he plays twice a week.
In the marathon event, 18 different golfers from around the region, each raising money for a particular child, will be playing fast and furiously.
"A normal golf game takes four hours," Healis said. "Most of that time is waiting." Each player will be supplied with a cart and speedy driver.
"I know it's going to be a very long day," the 35-year-old said, adding, "I can't think of a better reason to play golf for a child's wish to come true. I can play all day for that."
Cole's wish is to spend a week in a log cabin in Tennessee with his family, fishing, communing with nature. "He's never been there before," said his mother. "He likes deer and camouflage, to go and stay in the mountains, go fishing with his dad and pap, get a puppy."
With the Children's Dream Fund, Healis will make that come true.
Beth Gray can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.