Photo: Johnny Bush (front, center) with Shining Stars & Volunteers
This past Monday, April 8, Johnny Bush of Plainfield Country Club, the reigning NJSGA William Y. Dear Junior champion, conducted a unique fundraiser – playing as many holes of golf as he could in one day - to benefit his favorite charity.
Bush, 18, a senior at Cranford High School, donated his time and skill in a one-man Shining Stars Network Golf-A-Thon at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains. By sundown, Bush had played 108 holes of golf – six complete rounds - and raised nearly $20,000 for the Shining Stars Network, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that shines the light on the special needs community through the performing arts and sports.
Bush, who will play golf next year at Campbell University in North Carolina, has been involved with the charity as a mentor and performer for the past three years and enjoys his relationships with the children.
“I really enjoy my time with Shining Stars and I wanted to do something to give back to such a great organization,” said Bush, whose uncle, Joe Bush, is a PGA professional at Shackamaxon. “I’m thankful for the support I got from my uncle and the rest of my friends and family.”
In 2017, Bush won the Plainfield club championship in 2017, the same year he was medalist at the MGA Junior Championship.
“I’m definitely a little sore but I feel alright since I’m used to hitting a lot of golf balls,” Bush said. “The biggest challenge was definitely the final 18 holes of the six rounds I played and just staying in it,” said Bush who shot one-under-par for the entire day including a four-under-par 66 on his second round of the day. That was his best round ever at Shackamaxon.
“Now that it’s all done, I’m super excited to try and put all the money to use in the right ways and see how much it can help the program.”
Another uncle, Larry Grassini of Santa Barbara, Calif., has pledged a sizeable donation on a hole-by-hole basis.
“This was fun, I was able to work on my swing and all parts of my game, and at the same time, receive a lot of advice from my Uncle Joe,” he said.