A Washington state man’s belief that you are never too far away to support Lazarus House Ministries led to an unexpected and “unbelievable” trip to this year’s Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
Pabel Martin, and his wife Christina, were the winners of two of the “toughest tickets in sports” in the annual Lazarus House Masters Raffle. While they had attended a PGA tournament several years ago, this is the golf trip that created lifelong memories.
“It blew my expectations away. You know it’s going to be idyllic, but it is actually better than you think,” said Martin. “You look at each other and you can’t believe we are here! The scale of it is something you can’t understand until you are there.”
While living miles away from Lawrence, he learned of Lazarus House from Kevin Ebert, a member of our golf committee and exceptional fundraiser. Too far away to volunteer, donations are Martin’s way to support a mission that as a Latino he knows personally.
“My mom brought me here from the Dominican Republic when I was an infant. She didn’t speak the language and worked two jobs to support us,” said Martin.
“I grew up in an immigrant community in Southern Florida. There was a local church that took care of me and my mom. We were in a similar situation to those being helped by Lazarus House.”
Martin had been donating to Lazarus House for several years before winning the trip that brought him up close to golf royalty.
“We were yards away when we saw Tiger Woods, (the tournament champion), and other stars, including (second place finisher) Dustin Johnson, at the driving range. We then stationed ourselves to watch them play on the course,” Martin said.
“There are no electronic devices allowed. You are there with tens of thousands of people and no one has their phone on them. Everyone is looking up and everyone is excited to be there. This is a big deal!”
Martin will enter the Masters Raffle again this year, but it is the Lazarus House mission that is more important to him than winning.
“The community that it serves just hits me right,” he said. “I know what it feels like in those situations.”