EATON RAPIDS, MI — Dan Babbitt created a yearly golf outing to honor his friend who died from cancer more than a decade ago. Dan says the event is also passing forward the legacy of the man many say always passed kindness forward.
“Craig just helped people out quietly behind the scenes. When he passed, he had a daughter who was just graduating from high school. We thought, what can we do to help her out? So, we started getting this golf outing together to help her with some last-minute school expenses. By the time she was done with school, this thing was really getting some legs of its own. And we're like, we can't let this stop right now.”
Dan says thirteen years later, the annual Craig Cartwright Golf outing is stronger than ever, raising thousands of dollars that goes back into the Eaton Rapids community.
“We love to fix cars for people to go to work. Nothing better than fixing a car for someone so that they can get to work. The local tow truck guy called me up to say he has pulled this lady out of the ditch three times this winter. She needs new tires. I said, “let’s buy her tires.”
Gayle Betz grew up with both Dan and Craig and is a benefactor of the annual golf outing.
Her daughter Zoey who has Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was getting out of the house at night and Sometimes breaking into neighbors' cars.
“We were up most of the night worried about her getting out. I ended up telling Dan that I had put down a twin-size mattress by the door that she was using, and I was sleeping on that to help keep her inside. She is a very intelligent, sneaky girl, and she can figure out any lock. We were thinking about deadbolts and other types of alarms, but she could figure them all out.
Dan bought Gayle an alarm system from the funds raised at the annual golf outing. Gayle says she is finally able to get good sleep.
“The alarm goes off. Most of the time, I don’t even have to get out of bed. I say, “Young lady shut the door and lock it. Look outside; it's dark.” I can see the monitor and hear when she clicks the lock on the door, and we're done. I fall back to sleep. I can't begin to tell you how awesome it is.”
Sally Babbitt is Dan's sister and she says she is proud of her brother.
“Dan's like a lot of good neighbors who flies under the radar. He never asked for the spotlight. He never takes credit for things he does. He just goes in and does them. He is a good person and does what's right, and he doesn't care if he gets acknowledgment or credit or accolades or anything else. He's always focused on the other person.”
Dan Babbitt - for honoring your friend Craig with an annual golf outing that helps the community of Eaton Rapids, you are this week’s Good Neighbor.
If you would like to learn more about the Craig Cartwright Memorial golf outing, visit
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