TOURNAMENT HISTORY ...
the first tournament was held at the Cameron Veteran’s Memorial Golf Course in
Cameron, it was simply called the “Special Olympics Golf Tournament of
Cameron.” After Brooke Lauren Leitterman was born in 1993 with Down Syndrome,
her family and friends became aware of the wonderful benefits all special needs
kids can receive from the Special Olympics program. Brooke became an avid and
enthusiastic Special Olympics
athlete on the Cameron team. She had often benefited from the money raised by
tournament organizers, the CRCC Personnel Club of the Cameron Crossroads
She also would often attend the dinner following the tournament; even helping
draw for door prizes and handing out trophies!
Brooke was the type of
child who loved everyone and, as time passed, everyone came to know and love her
through the family’s connection to the tournament. People always seemed to look
forward to seeing her when she participated. In early 2004, Brooke was honored
at a Special Olympics torch lighting ceremony and carried the torch to start the
district games in St. Joseph MO, even though by then Brooke’s strength and hair
were pretty much gone because of all ‘the treatments.’ You see, in 2001, at
the age of 8, Brooke and her family were told she had developed AML Leukemia.
Even during Brooke’s
valiant fight against this horrific disease, she continued to participate in
Special Olympics as her health would allow, often winning her events. She loved
the sports and she adored her fellow athletes. Brooke was a living example of
the Special Olympics Oath: “Let me win, but if I
cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
Brooke was very brave in
her attempt to fight against her biggest opponent but she lost her race against
Leukemia. On November 23, 2004 at the age of 11, Brooke Lauren Leitterman
earned her angel wings.
The following year, the
tournament organizers contacted the Leitterman family and asked if they could
rename the tournament the “Brooke Leitterman Memorial Golf Tournament for
Special Olympics” to honor her memory. Of course, they were thrilled
and even more motivated to be involved and continue to raise money for the one
thing that Brooke loved more than life itself - “her” Special Olympics!