Looking at Bob Hammer’s garage in Danville, you would never think something so small could do so much. Since 2005 though, the 20′ by 20′ foot space though, has changed many cancer foundations across the country.
Hammer, 42, with his wife Kim, have created and operated one of the largest non-celebrity privately held golf tournaments in the nation, raising $1,000,000.00 for cancer research and treatment, since 2005. In fact, they will reach that monumental $1,000,000.00 raised this year…in their home town of Danville.
The “Have a Ball” Golf Tournament has been held in Sunnyvale each year since 2005. In a word, the event is “stunning.” It is two full golf tournaments in one very long day for the Hammer’s. They “cut it off” at 308 participants. Hammer says he has 56 corporate sponsors this year, with 202 corporations in all, involved. The event is so popular, that they just announced a 2nd “Have a Ball” Golf Tournament added to their schedule, to be held this September 19th at the Crow Canyon Country Club in Danville.
Hammer, a two-time cancer survivor, started his “Have a Ball” Foundation after his bout with testicular cancer in 1999. Hammer raised $10,000.00 and went to Austin, Texas to support Lance Armstrong’s Foundation in 2000. There he had a chance meeting with Armstrong’s Oncologist. Hammer was scheduled for a surgery at Stanford the following week which would have left him unable to have any more children. He decided to listen to Dr. Craig Nichols, Armstrong’s Oncologist, and one of the best testicular cancer Oncologists in the world, instead of five different Stanford Oncologists. The result; he and his wife, Kim, conceived Josh Hammer naturally, a little over one year later.
In an effort to give back, Hammer organized a golf tournament hoping to raise $2,500.00 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and “have a few beers with some friends.” What he created instead was a $1,000,000.00 foundation that now benefits 20 different cancer organizations each year and has sent over 60 children with cancer to a camp for kids with cancer called, Camp Okizu in Novato. “Have a Ball” has created and awarded six scholarships to oncology nursing students and much, much more.
Hammer now helps other non-profits get things rolling because of his experience. “It’s crazy really, to get a phone call from Ohio or Canada, asking me how I have done what I have done,” says Hammer. “I call it the “obligation of the cured,” to try to help as many folks as we can.
In his spare time, Hammer coaches San Ramon Valley Softball, Danville Little League and Mustang Soccer in Danville. He also serves on three cancer organizations panels across the U.S.
Now, that is one busy garage!