Much has been said about the recent loss of legendary CBS Sports producer Frank Chirkinian to the world of golf. All of the accolades in that regard are well-deserved. Yet his loss also is felt deeply by the Augusta Chapter of the Sunshine Foundation.
In 1988, the fledgling foundation -- which grants wishes to terminally and chronically ill children -- was struggling to create a fund-raising event to help support its mission. We hit upon the idea of a "Salute to the Masters" party to be held during Masters Week. However, we had no idea how to make it work.
I approached Frank with the idea, looking for his guidance. Not only did he offer incredible guidance, but he also gave endless support for our fund-raising efforts that will not be forgotten. On the night we had the party, the entire CBS Sports golf staff was there, as well as a number of the professional golfers with whom he had good rapport.
Our initial Salute to the Masters cocktail party was an overwhelming success primarily because of Frank's unselfish willingness to assist us during a time of year when he undoubtedly had many other things to do.
Frank continued his support for our organization and its efforts for many years, and it is for those deeds that he will be long remembered by all of the members of the Sunshine Foundation.
Richard R. Mehrhof Jr.