GAP Magazine Extra: Fall 2023 - The Golf Association of Philadelphia

Oct 30, 2023

GAP Magazine Extra: Fall 2023

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Longest Day of Golf at Berkshire aids MS Society

By Tony Regina

Supporting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society idled on Blake Scheider’s to-do list. His mother, Becky, lived with multiple sclerosis for 45 years. 

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“Living with someone who has a disability is difficult enough, but I couldn’t do the [MS] walks. I couldn’t do the runs. Being a golf professional, you’re working almost every weekend when those events are hosted anyway,” Scheider, an assistant golf professional at Berkshire Country Club, said. 

A group of Scheider’s friends suggested a solution that almost made too much sense. They played golf to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Scheider occupation met Scheider aspiration. 

Henceforth the MS Longest Day of Golf, which celebrated its 15th anniversary on July 23.

“We started playing from six in the morning to six at night. The next year we did 3 a.m. until 9 p.m. Someone jokingly said, ‘Why don’t you just play for 24 straight hours?” I said, ‘OK. Let’s try it,’” Scheider, 54, of Wernersville, Pa., said. “We’ve done it pretty much every year since. It’s been a great run.”

The MS Longest Day of Golf is a DIY fundraiser spearheaded by Scheider. All proceeds go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The MS Longest Day of Golf raised $40,413 with contributions being accepted through Dec. 31. Over 15 events, the event has collected $525,369. 

“The great part about it is I met hundreds of people that the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has helped during their process. That is so awesome,” Scheider said. “I see where the money goes. The personal stories, the emails I get, the support I get … we all pitch in. That’s what means the most to me.”

Ten individuals, ages 11 to 67, participated in the MS Longest Day of Golf. Curtis Kaucher, Berkshire’s food and beverage manager, brought his son Jack, 12, along for the marathon. Curtis played “a solid five” holes, Jack 36.

The cause connected with the Reading, Pa. residents. 

“When I started at Berkshire [in February], I spoke with Blake and was informed of the MS Longest Day of Golf. It’s something he’s passionate about and an event the club always hosts. My mother (Carol L. Kinsey) was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis going on 25 years now. It’s something that is near and dear to me. It is something that unfortunately affects my life every day, whether I like it or not,” Kaucher, 39, said. “Previous to this, Jack and I had played 18 holes of golf total in our lives. So, starting up by playing at a course of the size and level of play as the Berkshire wasn’t exactly ideal, but it was something we were willing to do to support the cause.”

The Kauchers, along with the rest of the field, wore flashy Fred Flintstone vests as a sign of unity. Portable lights and glow balls illuminated the Berkshire fairways as darkness fell. Zero injuries, plenty of fatigue. 

“My greatest accomplishment was 178 holes in the 24 hours. That was back when I got donations per hole and I got donations per score. If I got an eagle, birdie or par, I got more money donated,” Scheider said. “If I made a double bogey or worse. We played golf nonstop, ball after ball, shot after shot.”

Scheider’s desire to continue the MS Longest Day of Golf is equally relentless. Becky Scheider died on Oct. 16, 2016. Her perpetuity is part of the event’s persistence. 

“I was in fifth grade when I actually remember the word multiple sclerosis being said in the family,” Blake said. “Mom had issues. We knew something was wrong. At one point she stroked. She lost all mobility in the left side of her body. She had to gain that ability back.”

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