Miniature golf brings families together for St. Jude

Volunteers in Action July 06

(From left) Crag Bush, Michael Bush, Lisa Tenhopen from Sam's Club, Carolyn
Bush and Marge Bush at the 2005 Brian Bush Memorial Putt-For-Life. The Bushes
have raised more than $300,000 in the event's 17-year history.

Brian Bush and his family loved to play miniature golf. It was one of his favorite things to do, trying to avoid the variety of obstacles on the small greens and getting that ball in the hole.

And when Brian died from a brain tumor in April 1990, his parents, Michael and Marge, and his sister, Aaran Michelle, decided that a miniature golf fund-raiser for St. Jude in Brian’s memory would be the perfect way to give back to the hospital that Michael said did so much for his son and his family.

“It dawned on us that that (playing miniature golf) is family,” Michael said. “It’s not regular golf with the father gone all day. This is a fun thing where Mom and Dad and the kids can laugh and have a good time together. And St. Jude is based on family. Even though your loved one is going through treatment there, they work with the family.”

Brian loved to help people, his father said, often times serving as a clown with his father and sister for the Knights of Columbus in Wyoming. There he would work as part of the act, entertaining people in parades, at nursing homes and at other such institutions.

Now, for the past 17 years, the Bushes have hosted the Brian Bush Memorial Putt-For-Life at Loeschner’s Village Green in Grandville, Michigan. This year’s event is scheduled for July 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Typically more than 400 people come to the miniature course to play and show their support. Local radio station WLHT broadcasts live from the event. So far, more than $300,000 has been raised by the Bush family.

“We wanted to give back to St. Jude what they gave us,” Michael said, “and that was love. And that’s bringing families together, playing miniature golf, laughing, eating food and drinks, and enjoying the morning.”


July 2006