PORT BYRON, Ill. — Holly Sutton is a co-owner of Byron Hills Golf Course. She met Shane Kern about three years ago while at the golf course and quickly realized he would do anything for anyone.
"He is... has such a giving heart and I have met so many people that he has touched lives with... and I'm excited for what the future holds too," Sutton said.
That's why Holly felt Shane was very deserving of the Pay It Forward award. With his love of golf and drive to help others, Shane got in contact with the founder of Remember The Fallen to start a golf outing fundraiser with the organization.
"Remember The Fallen is an organization that supports fallen service members and first responders. They take care of those who are lost and their families," Kern said.
Shane puts in many hours of volunteering to secure sponsors and donations, as well as set up every detail for the golf outing, now named the Byron Hills Fore Heroes. They just celebrated its third annual outing.
"It has progressively gotten bigger. The first year we raised $16,000, the second year we raised $26,000 and this past year we raised north of $40,000," Kern said.
This year, the spotlight went to the family of former Sterling Fire Captain Garrett Ramos who lost his life in the line of duty last December.
"Captain Garrett Ramos's family is heartwarming," Kern said.
Shane is described as a very humble person who doesn't ask for anything in return, but when we asked why he does it, Kern's answer was simple: "The only thing I'll say is 'if not us... then who?'"
Shane said it takes about 11 months of planning for these outings and they are already gearing up for next year's event. He is also involved with a few other golfing fundraisers at Byron Hills.
If you want to get involved, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page.
Do you know someone that goes above and beyond for his or her community? News 8 and Ascentra Credit Union would like to help you Pay it Forward to them. Click here to nominate someone you know.