Alex Litt and his father Dr. Marc Litt.

On June 18th, Alex Litt and Cory Sullivan, along with six other golfers whose loved ones have been affected by ALS, will tackle 100 holes of golf in one day. This marathon-like challenge aims to raise funds through donations and by auctioning incredible golf experiences to combat ALS. What drives them to undertake such an arduous task? Discover their motivations below.

Alex Litt and Cory Sullivan first met after graduating college. They had both moved to New York for work and had settled into the same social circle. They bonded, among other things, over their love of golf. However, at the same time, Cory was going through an extremely difficult situation – he had just lost his father, John Sullivan, to ALS.

“When I heard Cory's dad passed because of ALS, I said ‘That's awful,’” remembers Alex. “I looked it up and I thought, ‘I can't believe someone had to go through that.’ I had sympathy, but I didn't have empathy, because I had never then been through a situation like that, nor did I really know what ALS was.”

Eventually, Cory moved to Austin, TX, Alex moved to San Francisco, and the two lost touch. Then, nearly 10 years after they first met, they both happened to be on separate golf trips to the same course in Branson, Missouri at the same time. It was an extremely serendipitous reunion. At the time, Alex’s father, Dr. Marc Litt, had just been diagnosed with ALS.

“When I saw Cory, it was like it was meant to be,” says Alex. “I remembered that he had been through ALS, and my dad had just been diagnosed. So, we reconnected, and I got to tell him about what I was going through and what my family was going through.”

Watching his father, a longtime cardiologist in Jacksonville, FL who had served his community for more than 35 years, go through ALS was devastating for Alex and his family. But, after their chance encounter, Alex was able to lean on Cory for support and advice. Recognizing how important it was for the two of them to share their experiences, they began thinking of ways they could give back to the larger ALS community.

“Cory and I decided we should do something for people like us out there,” says Cory. “For us, his dad had it, my dad had it, and we had each other. But we knew there were other people like us out there who didn’t have a brotherhood or sisterhood of people who have had this experience to turn to.”

Cory Sullivan with his father John Sullivan.Cory and Alex decided they needed to do something big to raise ALS awareness, fund research, and draw in other family members touched by ALS. It seemed obvious that, whatever it was, it would have something to do with golf. The game had been the foundation for their friendship, and it had brought them back together so many years later.

The idea they came up with was ambitious. They decided they would attempt, essentially, the golf equivalent of a marathon – 100 holes in a day. A normal 18-hole golf game takes about 3-4 hours and requires walking seven or eight miles. Alex and Cory aimed to do that about five and a half times.

On June 19, 2023, the day after Father’s Day, Alex and Cory kicked off the first 100-Hole Challenge to Beat ALS at the Onion Creek Golf Club in Austin, TX, playing from 5:00 am until 7:00 pm. They shared their progress on social media as they pushed through hole after hole of golf and encouraged donations to ALS organizations. Their efforts, though exhausting, were worth it – they raised over $200,000 for ALS services and research.

After their success in 2023, Alex and Cory decided to set their sights even higher for 2024. For this year’s event, taking place two days after Father’s Day on June 18th, they will be joined by six other golfers, all of whom have had a loved one affected by ALS. This group will again play 100 holes at the Great River Golf Club in Milford, CT. This year they have doubled their fundraising goal – aiming to raise $400,000 for ALS organizations including the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI).

“We looked long and hard after we raised the $200,000 last year and we said, ‘We want this to go towards research,’” says Alex. “Both Cory and I feel passionate about that. We don't want our kids to ever have to deal with this thing. So that's when ALS TDI came up. It really struck a chord with us. We could see that they had the best intentions in terms of making sure that, if we're going to raise a bunch of money this year, it would go towards the right things.”

While donations to support the 100 Holes Challenge can be made directly to their fundraising page, they are raising additional funds by auctioning off unique golf experiences. Using a website called Member For A Day, golfers interested in supporting the 100 Holes Challenge can bid on once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to play a round at some of the country’s best and most exclusive courses. In another moment of incredible – and tragic – serendipity, when they reached out to Member For A Day to host their auction, they discovered its founder, Eric Sedransk, had also lost his father to ALS.

“It's just like it's one of those things where you start to connect the dots and realize this thing is way more prevalent than what it sounds like when you’re told it’s a very rare disease,” says Alex. “As you get into this universe, it feels like everyone knows someone who's been struck with ALS. So that’s where we’re at, that’s what we’re fighting for.”

In addition to the money they raise, Alex also sees this event as a way to honor his father, Cory’s father, and so many other parents who have been touched by ALS.

“We're doing this in memory of people who have passed because of ALS and in honor of those who are going through it,” Alex says. “I could sit here and get my dad a gift for Father's Day. Cory could put up a post and say he really misses his dad. But we know we can do something more. We can get other people who have been through this, and we can build a community around this.”

“It means so much to us around Father’s Day because I’m a dad too, and I know – you don't really want a present from your kids,” he continues. “You just want them to have an appreciation for what you're doing and what you're going through. And for them to be there to support you. Because your parents have supported you all your life, in so many ways, it's hard to ever replicate that or give that back. But this is, perhaps, a way for some of us to be able to do that.”

To follow along with Alex, Cory, and the rest of the crew as they play 100 Holes of golf on June 18thfollow them on Instagram here.

To learn more about and support the 100 Holes Challenge to Beat ALS, you can visit their fundraising page here.

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