Cincinnati Waldorf School eight-grader Jack Masur starts golf tournament to help those with MS
Roxanna Swift, WCPO Contributor
12:00 PM, Apr 29, 2016
4:28 PM, May 19, 2016
CINCINNATI -- Multiple sclerosis might not top the list of concerns for most 13-year-olds, but for Jack Masur, the disease is the driving force in creating a significant charity event.
Masur is organizing the Golf Fore All tournament as part of a research project for school, and he hopes to raise $10,000 to pay for a new SoloRider golf cart for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.
The SoloRider is a cart designed to allow individuals with mobility impairments to play golf. It features ergonomic controls, and its single seat can elevate and swivel to allow individuals to golf.
“To think of this 13-year-old kind of tackling this tall task and setting this lofty goal for himself, I thought, was really impressive,” said Adam Ayers, inclusion coordinator for the CRC’s Division of Therapeutic Recreation.
The division operates within the CRC to accommodate individuals with disabilities, providing specialized equipment and programming.
“Our main function is inclusion,” Ayers said.
The Division of Therapeutic Recreation has six SoloRider carts as part of its Accessible Golf Program. Masur’s tournament could fund a seventh.
“I think it’s very impressive and mature that Jack wants to make sure that people in his community have access to this equipment,” Ayers said.
Masur, who has played golf from a young age, got his inspiration for the fundraiser from his uncle -- also named Jack -- who was an avid golfer before being diagnosed with MS. He recently was able to start golfing again, using a SoloRider cart.
“I feel like if I was diagnosed with MS or any disease …. I would be extremely grateful that there would be a program like this (Accessible Golf Program) to help me be able to golf again, and I just thought it was a really great program,” Masur said.
The golf tournament, which will be May 21 at Reeves Golf Course, is the culmination of Masur’s eighth-grade research project at Cincinnati Waldorf School.
The project has been an annual endeavor for eighth-graders since 2009. The students start out by proposing a research topic, and throughout the school year, they find a mentor and research their chosen subject. Toward the end of the school year, students conclude the projects by presenting their research to the school community.
The assignment is designed to teach students how to do research, but also to encourage them to learn more about subjects about which they’re passionate.
“What we’re trying to cultivate at Cincinnati Waldorf School is a sense that students learn for the joy of learning,” said Lori Kran, faculty chair and seventh-grade teacher for the school.
Over the last seven years, she’s seen projects presented on topics ranging from cooking to parkour, but Masur’s definitely stands out.
“I would say that his is definitely something that is the most outward-looking and community service-oriented project that I have ever seen,” she said.
Through the project, Masur has researched mobility impairments and SoloRider carts, while also learning how to set up a bank account, use PayPal and communicate more effectively.
“It’s really helped me a lot with just being social and talking to adults,” Masur said.
He’s had to do plenty of both, enlisting help setting up a website and lining up sponsors. The biggest challenge, though, has been getting golfers signed up. He has about 25 golfers registered, but his goal is 100.
Despite the challenges, he’s open to continuing the tournament in the future, if it’s successful.
Whether the tournament is a one-time or recurring event, Kran hopes the impact of Masur’s project will carry over within Cincinnati Waldorf School.
“My hope is that he sets the standard for students in the future,” she said.