FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dave Benjamin, Media Relations, 708-903-0166
Matthew Kocher Foundation
Kathy Kocher, Matt’s Mom, Founder & President, 708-334-2868
John Kocher, Matt’s Dad, 708-476-2867
In memory of Lake Michigan drowning victim–
Golf outing and dinner
Raising money for water safety, scholarship, & community service
412 Great Lakes drownings since 2010
TINLEY PARK, IL – The Matthew Kocher Foundation (MK56) is proud to announce the First Annual Matthew Kocher Memorial Golf Classic and Dinner, Friday, August 7. Proceeds from the event will fund the Foundation’s mission to carry on Matt’s spirit of ‘working together to help others’ through water safety education, providing scholarships to deserving students, and hosting community service projects.
The Golf Classic will be held at 11:00 a.m. at Meadows Golf Course, 2802 123rd St., Blue Island, Illinois. The dinner will be held at 6:00 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street, 3359 W 115th St., Merrionette Park, IL. The dinner will include food, drinks, entertainment by Liam Durkin, a photo booth, a basket raffle, door prizes, and a silent auction. The golf classic has sold out 144 spots and the dinner has pre-sold 320 seats.
“Matt had a strong sense of service to others, was modest about his success, and was considering becoming a doctor,” said Matt’s dad, John Kocher. “He worked hard at realizing his talents.”
Matt was an Honors student, a three-sport athlete, and very active in community service.
“We had such a happy life with Matt and were so very proud and excited about his future,” said Kathy Kocher. “He enjoyed success in academics and in sports and had many friends.
On July 22, 2013, Kathy kissed and hugged her son goodbye as he went off to Camp Manitoqua in Frankfort to earn 40 community service hours for high school. On July 27, 2013, the Camp took a field trip to New Buffalo, Michigan. Matt was standing in shallow water when he was suddenly pulled away from shore. Matt was a good swimmer, but his swim lessons were in the controlled environment of swimming pool. He was not educated nor prepared for how to deal with a rip current and drowned.
“We are devastated by the loss of our precious son, our only child,” Kathy said. We cannot bring Matt back, but we want to educate others about water safety so that no other family has to experience the same heartache that we are experiencing.
Since its inception, the Matthew Kocher Foundations has:
- Sponsored 50 Great Lakes Water Safety Presentations
- Awarded 10 Scholarships
- Hosted Community Service Projects for over 600 participants (The Matt Kocher Games, Adopt-A-Road, Tinley Park Irish Parade, a Food Drive, and a Trim-A-Tree program)
GREAT LAKES DROWNINGS
The Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project (GLSRP) current drowning statistics. In 2015 the GLSRP has tracked 28 Great Lakes drownings. Overall since 2010, the GLSRP has tracked 412 Great Lakes drownings (74 in 2010; 87 in 2011; 101 in 2012, 68 in 2013, 54 in 2014, and 28 to date in 2015).28 to date in 2015). Click Here for the complete Great Lakes drowning tatistics.
OVERVIEW OF EVENT
The Matthew Kocher Foundation
First Annual Matthew Kocher Memorial Golf Classic & Dinner
WHEN & WHERE
Friday, August 7, 2015
11:00 a.m. Golf Classic at:
Meadows Golf Course
2802 123rd St.
Blue Island, Illinois
(Sold out with 144 golfers)
6:00 p.m. Dinner at:
115 Bourbon Street
3359 W. 115th St.
Merrionette Park, IL.
(Over 320 dinner tickets sold)
Proceeds from the event will fund the Foundation’s mission to carry on Matt’s spirit of caring for others through water safety education, providing scholarships to deserving students, and hosting community service projects.
The golf classic has sold out 144 spots and the dinner has currently pre-sold 304 dinner seats.
ABOUT THE MATTHEW KOCHER FOUNDATION
The Matthew Kocher Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides Water Safety, Scholarship, and Community Service. With the motto of “Working Together to Help Others” the Matthew Kocher Foundation originated in the hearts of Matt’s parents, John and Kathy Kocher.
The Foundation’s mission is to carry on Matt’s spirit of caring for others by offering water safety education to prevent future drownings and save lives. Matt’s parents do not want any other families to experience the anguish of going through such a preventable tragedy. The Foundation also provides scholarship awards to deserving students and provides community service opportunities to young people.
WATER SAFETY EDUCATION
The Matthew Kocher Foundation has provided funding for 50 GLSRP “Great Lakes Water Safety School Presentations” to over 11,693 students.
The Matthew Kocher Foundation Scholarship exists to benefit students who have demonstrated excellence in the classroom, in athletics, outstanding character, and leadership in the community.
The Matthew Kocher Foundation has hosted Community Projects for over 600 participants
- The Matt Kocher Games
- Tinley Park Irish Parade
- Food Drive
SAFETY TIPS – What everyone should know before they put their toes on the beach:
- When in doubt, don’t go out!
- Know the Signs of Drowning
- Know the “Flip, Float, and Follow” Rip Current Survival Strategy
- GLSRP Water Safety Illustrations
- Know the Great Lakes Dangerous Currents
- Know the 1-10-1 Rule of Hypothermia (especially in fall, winter, and spring)
- Drowning Terms to Discontinue
- GLSRP Drowning Statistics