Unsung Hero: Mark Faulkner

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By Ashley Smith
By Josue

WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- A Carterville man will spend an entire day golfing. He'll finish 100 holes for local and national charities.

"As golfers we wish we could golf all day every day and so this is an opportunity for us to help our charities," said Mark Faulkner.

Faulkner is the owner of Lake of Egypt Country Club. He also loves the game of golf but admits he doesn't get to hit the links very often during the busy summer months.

Last year Mark participated in the PGA's Golf Day fundraiser, "100 Holes of Golf." Golfers around the country pledge their time in exchange for donations.

The golfers complete 100 holes of golf with the money raised helping local and national charities. Mark is part of the Gateway PGA which covers the southern half of Illinois and two-thirds of Missouri.

"We usually get somebody to keep me company," explains Mark.
"Somebody helps spot balls or we find somebody to play along. Last year Ozzie Smith played 18 holes with us and that was a big benefit. It will take most of the day, we'll start around 6:00 a.m."

Former St. Louis Cardinal Ozzie Smith won't be there on Wednesday. Instead Ozzie will golf with the top three donors in the pro-am set for October 7th at Annbriar golf course in Waterloo, Illinois.

Thanks to those donors last year, Mark was able to give thousands of dollars to Hospice of Southern Illinois and hopes to do even better this time.

"Every dollar counts and being non-profit, 100 percent of those monies goes back into patient care," said Hospice of Southern Illinois Event Coordinator Jennifer Vinyard.

"Just to put that time and effort in for the charities involved, it's wonderful," said Jennifer. "We just think a lot of Mark and appreciate everything he does for Hospice of Southern Illinois as well as the other charities involved."

Mark says he's not a hero, he's just using his hobby to help others.

"Oh gosh no, we're just playing golf. I think Hospice of Southern Illinois is the hero and everything they do and we're honored to help obviously," said Mark.

Golfers across the nation have selected their own day to complete their 100 holes of golf. Mark is planning to hit the links on Wednesday, August 7th at Lake of Egypt Golf Course.

You can still make donations to his campaign to get in the running to play in the pro-am. Click on the "related content" box to find out how to donate.
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