Kokomo’s locals, Mike Danley and Rob Wright Ropes, were lifelong friends and graduates of Haworth High School in 1976, and maintained that friendship throughout their adult years, but when Ropes died of pancreatic cancer 20 years ago, things changed very quickly.
Now, two decades later, Danley said he wanted to give something back. Ropes was a huge disc golf fan and a great person overall, and Danley couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to honor him while promoting the sport he loved so much. On October 24th, Kokomo Highland Park hosts the first annual Robert Wright Ropes Memorial for the National Pancreas Foundation, hosted by the City of Firsts Disc Golf Club from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Danley admits the event wasn’t his only idea, though.
“He was a disc golf enthusiast and also a community volunteer,” said Danley. “When he received the news that he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he was doing volunteer work at the Logansport homeless shelter at the time. And there was no way he would ever be homeless, but he was all his life. When we were in a car, he would stop to help someone who was stuck in a snowdrift and all. He was also the one who contributed to the introduction of this course in Highland Park with the city of Kokomo shortly before his death. “
The two were best friends in high school, Danley said, and they both played basketball and volleyball and later became college roommates at Purdue and business associates.
LOVE– A young Robert Wright Ropes practices disc golf, a sport he has always had a passion for. Ropes was instrumental in the fact that Kokomo placed the disc golf course in Highland Park in the early 2000s.
Disc golf has always been a sport that Ropes loved and underused, especially in a place like Kokomo, which has a great parking system. Danley said he remembered Ropes dragging him to disc golf courses in the mid-1970s.
So Ropes fought with all his might to get the city to support a course; not for yourself, but for future generations.
“He did it even when he suffered from cancer. He had made some pledges for the homeless shelter and fulfilled those pledges to get companies to donate to it, and then he started raising money for cancer, ”Danley said.
This is how Ropes always thought of the world: others first.
The event is divided into departments, which can be viewed below.
Player Divisions and Entry Fees: $ 10 dollars for players without current PDGA membership. For help with department selection, see the PDGA guidelines online.
$ 40.00 MPO open
$ 40.00 FPO OpenWomen
$ 40.00 MP40 Pro 40+
$ 30.00 MA1 Advanced
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$ 30.00 FA1 Advanced Women
$ 30.00 MA40 Amateur 40+
$ 30.00 MA50 Amateur 50+
$ 30.00 MA60 Amateur 60+
$ 30.00 MA2 Intermediate
$ 30.00 MA3 free time
$ 30.00 MA4 Beginners
There’s $ 1,000 for professional departments, Danley said. According to the event page, amateur divisions will pay out three places.
The winner of the first place receives a DD (Dynamic Discs) soldiers cooler bag and other goods. The second takes a DD-insulated stainless steel canteen and goods home, while the third simply gets goods.
“[The Highland Park disc golf course] is simply being used far too little and it’s ridiculous, because especially in times of COVID-19, it’s great to be outside and get some fresh air. It’s mostly on foot, anyone can throw a disc. I think it’s a great opportunity for the Kokomo people. Most of them don’t even know they exist, so it would be great to get out of the park and walk with a meaning, ”Danley said.
Kokomo is a huge golfing community, but Danley said disc golf was a much cheaper option than patronizing a golf course. Anyone with a disc can go to the park for free and work on their tech while they go outside in a safe environment.
Danley said he hopes this will be the first of many annual tournaments honoring ropes and possibly the growth of another great sport in the City of Firsts.
But the main goal is to donate to pancreatic cancer research. The disease took Ropes off in just five months, Danley explained, as it has so many other victims in the blink of an eye. There are 18 holes with the option to sponsor one hole for $ 100. So far, Danley said the event has eight corporate sponsors so far.
“We also have a place where anyone can donate money, even a dollar. And we’d be happy for a dollar because I think every person is more important than money to be aware that this cancer exists and it’s a really horrible thing, ”said Danley. “It really turns the family unit upside down. So it’s something they’re progressing with, so we want to help them, ”said Danley.
Anyone wishing to donate can visit https://give.pancreasfoundation.org/ge/discgolf2021, and for those wishing to register for the tournament, visit www.discgolfscene / RWRmemorial.
“I just can’t think of a better way to hold a memorial tournament for someone. First, the place wouldn’t be there and all these people wouldn’t play for it if it weren’t for it. But also because of his voluntary work that collects money for others. I just think it’s so appropriate, ”said Danley. “That’s an old saying. Why do they take the good people with them, of all people? That was someone who was really a force for good. “