In Memory Of Chris

Chris was a truly passionate person, especially when it came to his family, friends, and interests. If he couldn't be perfect at something, then his attitude was "what's the point?" He had an infectious smile, quick wit, and quirky way of looking at the world.

Chris loved sports, history, and creating things, whether it be buildings for his super heroes or a beautiful painting. Hockey was his first passion until he started 8th grade at DeSales Catholic School, when he decided it was time to try a sport where he didn't have to rely on someone else "showing up." He chose golf and that's where his story began to soar. Every day, Chris would walk a mile down the road with his clubs to the little county course, where he used his lawn mowing money to get a junior membership. There, he would team up with the retired golfers to play 18-45 holes a day. Chris not only loved listening to the old-timers' stories, but also wanted to share his stories from his 14-year-old life.

The next summer, Chris tried out for the St. Joe's golf team. His dad promised him a new set of irons, should he make it. St. Joe's only had a varsity team of 12 golfers. We arrived at the course for tryouts to find over a hundred candidates. Each day he made the cut, running to the car with overwhelming excitement, until the last day. As he headed toward me with his head down, clubs over his shoulder, I felt the pit in my stomach that only a mother can know seeing their child fail. Then, as he lifted his gaze toward me, I could see from under the bill of his hat a twinkle in his eye and a crooked smirk that said "GOTCHA!"

That next month while playing at the DeSales Alumni Tournament, he achieved the first of many golf triumphs. While at the 18th tee he called me at work. I picked up the phone and could hear cheering and shouting and in the most exuberant voice I hear, "Mom, I just shot a hole in one!" Chris was 15 years old. The next year, he joined the Lockport Town and Country Club where he became a celebrity in his own right with the members there. He came in 2nd at All Catholics, shot a record 66 during a summer tournament with the WNYPGA, played in the Jr. Masters in East Aurora, and made it to the State Championships twice. He was then accepted to St. John Fisher to play on their NCAA Division III Golf team.

In his final years he was accepted to Coastal Carolina University in Conway SC Pro Golf Management Program; only one of nine programs in the country at the time. Within the first two months, he passed the coveted PAT (Playing Ability Test) which is a 36 hole playing ability test mandatory in order to become a PGA professional. While Chris' stay at CCU was brief, he made an impact on friends that he met and teachers who would not forget him.

Upon his passing, we received an official diploma of attendance and so many heartfelt words. These words from his Political Science teacher, who only knew him for one semester, sum Chris up beautifully...

"Chris was one of my students at Coastal Carolina University. He was my number one guy in a class of 36 students. He was always prepared for discussion and offered insightful comments. This young man was a superlative student with a gregarious personality. Others tried to emulate him. I LEARNED FROM HIM!!! He was a fine man with a caring heart. I will miss him very much." God Bless, Mark Singleton.

Chris' achievements live on with a foundation started in his memory, the Chris Maloney Legacy Foundation. This foundation is building community partnerships bridging the sport and core values of golf with those needed to raise healthy, happy children and young adults. Chris wanted to be part of the First Tee Program so that's where it started and now connects with Kids Escaping Drugs. Our family and friends couldn't be more proud of Chris and revel at what he accomplished in his 23 years.

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