The best laid plans of New England mice
and golfers often go awry…
Generally because of the pernicious winter weather. Such is the case with Winter Storm Niko that has laid waste to so many family plans. What follows below is the story I had written in advance to celebrate Massachusetts’s son Archit Datta’s hitting the ceremonial shot at the Allianz Championship in Boca Raton on Friday morning. Archit could not get out of Logan. A local Florida Navy SEAL will hit the drive in Archit’s honor. I think you’ll agree that the story is still very much worth reading.
The ceremonial first tee shot of the Allianz Championship on Friday morning, February 10, wasn’t hit by a pro golfer, a celebrity, or a local politician. It was struck by 13-year- old Archit Datta of Acton, Massachusetts, who has been battling malignant brain tumors for the past three years. Archit’s ceremonial first tee shot, which was presented by sponsor Sato Global Solutions and supported by sponsor Elliot Hershberg, is another example of how the PGA TOUR Champions event at Broken Sound Club gives back to charity.
The Goals of One Summit
Archit, a patient at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, kicked off the Allianz Championship’s 11th consecutive year at the Old Course. Proceeds will benefit One Summit, a non-profit program founded by former Navy SEAL and present Boston resident Adam LaReau. One Summit helps to provide children battling cancer with the courage, self-assurance, and resilience needed to continue their fight.
The innovative educational program partners the children with volunteer Navy SEALs to teach life lessons, such as overcoming adversity through rock climbing and other confidence-building initiatives. Archit, who likes hamburgers, apple pie and the color orange, received two weeks of golf lessons from One Summit to prepare him for the ceremonial tee shot. “I always wanted to try golf on an actual golf course, and I feel honored to be there with the pro golfers,” Archit said. “I want to thank One Summit and Allianz Championship for giving me this opportunity.”
Archit participated in the One Summit program in November 2014, and made a life-long connection with Adam LaReau, his Navy SEAL mentor. Archit said he hopes to someday become a doctor, a pro athlete, or a chef.
One Summit Founder Adam LaReau
Adam LaReau, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy SEALs, left active duty in 2013 after 11.5 years. He completed his Masters of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2014. While at Harvard, Adam developed One Summit. Its inaugural Climb For Courage was in March 2014. Since then, One Summit has had 106 children participate, making a resoundingly positive impact on the children, parents and healthcare professionals.
LaReau explained the rationale behind his creation. “At One Summit we are evening the odds in the fight against childhood cancer. It’s little warriors like Archit who inspire us all and show the strength and determination to take cancer head on. It’s an honor to be included in this year’s Allianz Championship, and we thank all the sponsors who were able to make this a special day for Archit and his family.”
The Allianz Supports the Military
The event is just one of many military-related activities taking place during the Allianz Championship. All week long, the tournament will express gratitude to area service members by extending complimentary admission for active duty and Reserve military members, military retirees, and their families. The military ticketing program is part of Birdies for the Brave, originally created in 2006 by PGA TOUR player Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, to support combat-wounded veterans. Now it is a military outreach initiative proudly supported by the PGA TOUR that has raised more than $15 million for 11 military homefront groups. Another military outreach activity includes uniformed members of the Green Berets who will tend the pin—trimmed with the American flag—on the 18th green on Sunday.
(Photographs courtesy of One Summit)