Donna Lenz Wright/The Week
(Published Dec. 3, 2007, 2:42 p.m.)
John Sliker of Delavan has been a fixture at Lake Lawn Resort for nearly 10 years as the assistant golf pro for adults and youth.
For adults he's been there every day ready with tips, advice and a friendly smile. For youth he's been responsible for holding summer workshops every Friday, taking nine to 15 kids out to show and share with them his love for the sport.
"He's a fun-loving guy who's very devoted to his own children and grandchildren and other people's too," said longtime friend and coworker Jim Halsey.
"He's been a staunch promoter of golf for children."
So naturally, when Sliker suffered a stroke in September, the Lake Lawn Resort family was very concerned for him and his wife, Carol.
Halsey visited Sliker at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, bringing well wishes from everyone back home.
"I immediately noticed that it was a 90-mile round trip, so I got to thinking that his wife had been going to and from there every day," he said. "I thought just the gas costs and at least lunch costs for her, if not dinner as well--the costs had to be horrendous.
"That planted the seed in my mind."
Halsey, along with the Lake Lawn coworkers and owners, have organized a benefit drive there to help make the Slikers' lives easier through John's recuperation.
Dan Drier, Lake Lawn director of golf, Pat Nelson, owner, and his brother Peter Nelson, among many others, have donated some great raffle prizes to support the drive including overnight stays at the resort, golf packages, meal packages and more.
"So far we've raised about $2,000 toward helping offset the expenses they have," Halsey said. "But there's so much more. The insurance doesn't cover everything and they'll have to pay the $5,000 deductible again after the first of the year."
The stroke severely affected Sliker's left side, leaving him with a long trip back to the greens. But his friends and Lake Lawn family will keep trying to come up with ways of supporting him.
"This has been a great strain for both of them," said Halsey. "And he still has a lot of rehab to go through.
"We're trying to put together a way for him to get in and out of the house because he has limited mobility--ramps and handholds--whatever will help. Plus keeping his spirits and drive up.
"He's gotten to know a lot of people and everybody wishes him well. Every time people come in to play they ask how he's doing."
Sliker's Lake Lawn family plans to continue the benefit drive indefinitely, and anyone interested is encouraged to call the golf shop at 728-7900 ext. 2749 or send donations to the Lake Lawn Resort, Attention John Sliker Fund Drive, 2400 E. Geneva St. Delavan, WI 53115.
"We're hoping we can get him back at the golf shop and find a means that he can learn to play golf with these new limitations," Halsey says.
"He'll enjoy being out there with the kids again, I'm sure."
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