Gill celebrates 30th year of golf outing with record turnout

Sports

SAVOY (WCIA) — After three decades, you’d think Kendall Gill would have a decent routine for his annual golf outing.

Not quite.

“I forgot my golf shoes at home, which I do every year because I’m not really a golfer,” Gill said. “I’m not even gonna pretend it.”

Gill ended up buying new shoes before arriving at the University of Illinois courses on Monday for the 30th year of his fundraiser outing to benefit the Cunningham Children’s Home.

“There’s a lot of guys, not just a few but a lot of foursomes that started out with us 30 years ago and are still here today,” Gill said. “That’s a testament to how much they believe in what we’re doing here as far as charitable giving to the home.”

Last year 37 foursomes teed it up, this year that number jumped up to 50. It’s not the golf that has Gill coming back year after year though. For the first time in the event’s history, both the Orange and Blue course were used.

“What makes me the happiest out of doing all of this stuff is when I’m walking down the street in Chicago or I’m in the restaurant and an adult comes up to me and says, ‘I was at the Cunningham Children’s Home 25 years ago when you started and I appreciate everything that you did for me’. That’s what makes me feel the best,” Gill said.

Per usual, Gill’s Illini head coach, Lou Henson, was in attendance. Having him around is a boost to everyone, including current Illini coach Brad Underwood.

“To see his involvement and support one of his former players like he does, he’s out here every year that I’ve been here,” Underwood said. “It’s great at his age that he still makes the effort and I’m so appreciative of every time I get to sit down with him and converse and he’s been nothing but super supportive of us and our program so I’m a big Lou Henson guy.”

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