Brownsburg students design golf course for charity

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Anne Marie Tiernon/Eyewitness News

Brownsburg - Fifth-graders at two Hendricks County schools are learning life lessons through miniature golf.

Fifty students at the schools are wrapping up the school year, where they learned about design, construction, sponsorship and compassion. They're building 18 miniature golf holes in the parking lot of Reagan Elementary.

"Our sponsors are Jimmy Johns and Steve Heinekamp Financial," said Alex Boanta.

The themes range from racing to construction, with traps from ramps to rocks to push you to bogey and beyond.

"Pretty good project. Best project I've ever done in school," said Boanta.

The project aims to raise money for the Spinal Cord Injury Hope Fund.

"The motto for our foundation is helping gain independence, one step at a time," said John Wassen, SCI Hope Fund.

Wassen, a Brownsburg parent, is part of the inspiration. He is a quadriplegic after a 2007 construction fall and is now a fifth grade assistant.

"Most of the people in our class had never met anybody like Mr. Wassen before, so we got to learn about how he is doing, about what he does, how he survives, how he manages to survive," Boanta said.

Looking beyond fifth grade, here and there, are other models. Like Brownsburg High School junior Emily Hunt, who was injured on a roller coaster ride when she was four and is now looking forward to college.

"The most important thing after you are injured is to find a way to be independent. You don't want to be a completely different person, you want to be the person you were before the injury," Hunt said.

Hunt's U.S. history teacher is Bret Neylon, Brownsburg's head track and cross country coach, who was injured in a bike race crash in 2006. He knows his students get a bonus curriculum.

"I hope, really, they will learn that you can do anything that you can set your mind to," Neylon said.

Alex is proud of his par four golf hole. In test rounds, the best score was eight. He wants others to try it and also absorb what he's learned this year.

"There are people who may be a little different on the outside, but on the inside, they are just the same as everybody else. There is no difference," Boanta said.

The "Pup Putt" course will be open at Reagan Elementary from 5-8 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 pm on Friday and Saturday from 10 am until 10 pm. The cost is $3 per person, or $10 per family.

Related Links

Pup Putt on Facebook

SCI Hope Fund

Race to Recovery