Summer golf program offers confidence, hope to local man

are for Everyone, otherwise known as SAFE, kicked off its summer golf program
this week.  More than 50 people with special needs are provided an
encouraging environment to compete and socialize.  For Dominic Federico,
it's also about rebuilding confidence and hope. 

won a chipping contest when he was nine, two years before he was diagnosed with
a brain tumor.

mother, Kathleen, described the medulloblastoma, “It was the size of a
grapefruit, in an 11-year-old.”  She added, “Dom took one look
at me and first question was, I have a brain tumor, don't I? Second question,
am I going to die?”

remembers, “To be honest, it was a little traumatic for me.”

had emergency surgery to remove the tumor.  He lived in the hospital for a
year and didn't speak for a year and a half.  Now, 11 years later, he's
getting back to the sport he loves… with a little help from Libby
Smith.  Smith is one of the professional golfers that made a special
appearance at the SAFE golf program this week.

just gave me a lot of information that made everything so much easier for
me,” Dom said.  “She told me stuff like when I needed to
back up, put a little more range between me and the ball, told me how to gold
the club.

enjoyed her time too.  She explains, “To know he has a little
background in golf and then to help get it where he's comfortable and he's able
to get it on the green and chip it on the green and make contact on the driving
range – that's what it's all about. That's where it's special.”

that's what makes Dominic feel special.

way that all the helpers treated me – it was like not as if they saw me as
someone in a wheelchair, but just as a kid who was golfing and having
fun,” said Dom.

mother agreed.  “That's all I wanted. We wanted the family to get
through in any manner and we wanted everybody to love the life they were

spots are still available for golf.  SAFE also runs soccer,
basketball, bowling, baseball and fishing programs throughout the
year.  If you're interested in signing up or learning more about the
program, visit:

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