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High school golfer travels to help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts

In recent weeks, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have taken center stage. Texas and Florida, and other locales, have been devastated. Many of us have wondered how we can help and kept those affected in our thoughts.

Most will never experience the suffering first hand, but Foothill High junior golfer Noah MacFawn isn’t one who will have to guess how people are coping. He and his family traveled to the Houston area last week to help. The MacFawns were part of the first response team sent to the area by Calvary Chapel church. The group of 20 left last Monday and returned late Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, a bleary-eyed MacFawn played in the Southern Nevada Golf Association Clark County Amateur at Boulder Creek. He shot 77-83 and finished 27th playing against some of the top amateurs in Nevada. But after a week of experiencing what he did in Houston, how he finished in a golf tournament was a little less important to him than it used to be.

“I definitely had a more relaxed approach for the tournament than normal and realized it would be foolish to really get upset about a poor shot after what I experienced in Houston,” MacFawn said. “I’m sure I will get upset in the future because that’s human nature, but I have a different perspective.

“I now understand even more the great opportunity I have been given to play this game and in these tournaments.”

The MacFawns said they will never forget the look of shock on many of the faces they encountered. During the trip, they were sent to a flooded home to assist, but when the occupants weren’t there they looked for others who needed help and came across an elderly couple. The husband had recently undergone a triple bypass, making an evacuation from their water-soaked home very difficult.

“We went there to provide blessings but we left feeling blessed,” Noah’s mom Shari Macfawn said. “It was an amazing experience and when we came upon these people it was special because they didn’t have anyone else to assist. We were able to help them start rebuilding their lives.”

Noah MacFawn, who has plans to play college golf, will remember the human interactions in Texas more than anything else.

“The people were surprised that we came so far to help and were very grateful,” MacFawn said. “When we had to leave on Friday it was very sad, and the whole experience really started to hit home for me.”

The golf notebook appears each Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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