“You can’t always pay it back, but you can always pay it forward,” The Story of Alan Osit, How a Small Town Resident Made a Big Difference

“You can’t always pay it back, but you can always pay it forward,” The Story of Alan Osit, How a Small Town Resident Made a Big Difference

Emily Osit

The date is June 19th, 2003. Alan Osit and a few friends are up bright and early setting up Topstone Country Club for the soon to be golf tournament fundraiser. Anxious for the eventful day to come, Alan realizes he left the raffle tickets at home. What Alan and his volunteers did not realize is that this golf tournament will last 20 years and raise over 850,000 dollars for pediatric cancer research. 

Back in 2001, Alan’s first born son, Jacob Osit was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma at the age of 4. Traveling all around the East Coast for doctor appointments, chemo treatments, and more, Alan found himself inspired to give back. “You can’t always pay it back, but you can always pay it forward,” Alan told me in an interview earlier this week. “I remember strangers would come by the hospital and give the children movies, gift cards to restaurants, video games, the most pure form of charity.” From here, the idea sprouted of paying that charity forward. 

After two years of strenuous treatment, Alan decided to take action. He and the help of a few friends, put together a golf tournament in Jacob’s honor, and in honor of the other families with children who are pediatric cancer patients. The cleverly named “Golf Fore the Kids” tournament started out small, taking place at the local golf course. Alan “knew that he could help in small ways, and take a step in the right direction,” and so the tournament began donating hospital parking passes to families who regularly make hospital visits, and sending children to Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is a sleepaway camp for children with serious illnesses. These small actions make those families’ lives a little easier, and gives the children a chance to experience a bit of normalcy. 

When the first tournament came to a close, Alan remembered him and volunteers, “knew they had to keep going.” Collectively, they decided to continue the tournament until they reached their goal of 1,000,000 dollars in donations. As the years went on, the donations got more specific, and impactful. Now, the golf tournament specifically donates to the oncology clinic trial program at CCMC, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and to the Dana Farber’s Jimmy Fund clinic, a clinical research laboratory that does research on neuroblastoma. 

“When we started 1,000,000 didn’t ever seem achievable, but now our dreams are becoming a reality, we are so close.” Today, the annual Golf Fore the Kids tournament has raised around 865,000 dollars in donations. 

With all the fundraising and impactful work that Alan has completed, he hopes to inspire others to donate on their own, and to help them understand the impact that they can make independently. Unfortunately, the tournament can not last forever, so when that day comes he hopes the donations will continue.