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IU McKinney student uses his love of golf to raise money for scholarships

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While some people dream about it, Luke Bielawski will actually be spending his entire summer swinging a golf club.

The student at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law plans to hit a golf ball for 10 hours a day from roughly Monterey, Calif., to Charleston, S.C., to raise money for Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis. Bielawski expects the 3,000-plus mile journey to take anywhere from 95 to 110 days and include approximately 48,000 swings and 3,200 lost golf balls.

bielawski-preparation-15col.jpg Luke Bielawski, a student at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, practices his swing along an Indiana country road. (Submitted photo)

The fundraiser, dubbed “From Tee to Shining Tee,” combines Bielawski’s passion for helping young people with his love of golf. He considers himself blessed to have been able to attend Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, and he wants to help economically disadvantaged youth to have the same opportunity he had to attend a college preparatory program.

Bielawski is confident he can raise $100,000 to fund 12 scholarships.

He was searching for a way to support Providence Cristo Rey when, watching the movie “Forrest Gump” and seeing the character run across the country, he hit upon the idea of whacking a golf ball from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. Bielawski has since established his own 501(c)3 nonprofit, Get On The Green, to use golf to raise funds for local, regional and national charities.

“Golf is a beautiful game,” Bielawski said.

Last summer he adjusted his hours at his summer job assisting in-house counsel, arriving by 5:30 or 6 a.m., so he could leave in the mid-afternoon and have six hours on the green. When winter came, he began spending his evenings in his garage hitting a few hundred golf balls into a net.

With the arrival of spring, he has moved back outside and practiced for his summer journey by logging a few miles hitting golf balls and walking across cornfields.

Bielawski will tee off in California on May 7. After his final exam ends at 9 p.m. May 3, he will meet his cousin Nick Bielawski in the parking lot on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus and start driving in a donated recreational vehicle to the West Coast. His cousin will accompany him across the country, driving the RV and preparing the meals while he hits the golf ball.

Once Bielawski starts swinging mostly 6 and 7 irons, he will be playing the ball as it lies, hitting through fields, desert and wildness. In addition to raising money for the youngsters and meeting people from different parts of the country, Bielawski said he is looking forward to seeing the wildlife and landscapes of the west, southwest and southeastern United States.

“One of the best parts of the game is the scenery,” he said.

He hopes to make his final shot into the Atlantic Ocean on Aug. 5 and then return to Indiana for the start of classes Aug. 25.

The students at Providence Cristo Rey will be able to follow his trek across the lower half of the U.S. through Bielawski’s website and blog posts. They have never met the golf enthusiast but several share a common experience of working in the law. As part of the curriculum at the high school, the students participate in a work-study program. Currently 19 students are handling office duties such as filing and data entry at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, Doyle Legal Corp., Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Frost Brown Todd LLC and Ice Miller LLP.

Bielawski’s summer plans do not call for a complete break from the study of law. After a day of hitting, Bielawski will sit down at the computer to take a couple of online legal classes in preparation for his final semester in law school and graduation in December.

He is uncertain about what he will do after graduation, but, undoubtedly, when a potential employer asks him if he plays golf, Bielawski will have an amazing story to tell.

More information about Bielawski and “From Tee to Shining Tee” can be found at his website, www.getonthegreen.org.•

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  • 4-fourrrrr
    Proud to know you ,and that your making a mark in the world,in this case divit across the united states, all I cab say is wow and 4-fourrrr. Luke good luck

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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