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Riverside Healthcare Foundation Pro-Am to Tee Off for 40th Event

One of Illinois' longest-running PGA events supports healthcare for region

KANKAKEE, IL (May 26, 2017) - One of the oldest PGA-sanctioned Pro-Am golf tournaments in Illinois is set to tee off Friday, June 2nd at the prestigious Kankakee Country Club, and in keeping with the rich history of the event, organizers know the Riverside Healthcare Pro-Am will be a day of great golf for a great cause. 

“Since its inception in 1978, the event has contributed nearly $1.5 million to medical programs, facilities, equipment, and nursing scholarships,” said Riverside’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement Matt McBurnie. “This event has meant a tremendous amount to the quality of healthcare throughout the Southland and we are proud to keep the tradition going for 40 years.” 

For nearly half of those 40 years, the Riverside Pro-Am was chaired by Col. James H. Kasler, one of the most decorated United States veterans and the only person to be awarded the Air Force Cross three times. The Air Force Cross ranks just below the Medal of Honor as an award for extraordinary heroism in combat. Among his 76 awards for valor and service, Kasler was decorated twice with the Silver Star and awarded a Legion of Merit, nine Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, and eleven Air Medals. Kasler passed away in 2014 at the age of 87. 

“Col. Kasler was a decorated war hero, but he was also a hero to so many through the work he did with Riverside,” said Riverside President and CEO Phil Kambic. “His passion for golf was second only to his desire to make sure the residents of this region had access to the best healthcare possible and his decades of work on the Riverside Pro-Am supported that cause.” 

This year, the Pro-Am will include one amateur player, James Bridgewater, and one golf professional, Paul Reinking, who have played in all 40 of the events. Bridgewater will turn 80 on May 31. He was on the winning team as recently as 2015. 

As part of the event’s tradition, it will conclude with 12 amateurs and 12 professionals taking one shot each for a chance at $100,000 for a successful hole in one. “There’s always a lot of excitement for that, as the rest of the field gathers to watch. We’ve not yet had a winner, but some have come very close.” 

For more information on Riverside Healthcare and the Riverside Pro-Am visit riversidehealthcare.org


Riverside Healthcare is a fully integrated healthcare system serving the needs of individuals and communities throughout the counties of Kankakee, Iroquois, Will, Grundy and beyond. As part of the system, Riverside Medical Center, a 312-bed hospital, provides a full scope of inpatient and outpatient care and is a nationally recognized, award-winning Level II Trauma hospital with nationally-leading programs in heart care, cancer care, neurosurgery and orthopedics. Its reputation for nursing excellence has made Riverside the area's only Magnet® Recognized hospital. Because Riverside's clinical performance ranks them among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide, Healthgrades has named them a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award, and Truven Health Analytics presented them with the 100 Top Hospitals® award. Riverside also operates several community, primary and specialty health centers throughout the region. Learn more about Riverside Healthcare at www.RiversideHealthcare.org.