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January 7, 2014

PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler surprises Moore tornado survivor

OSU alum gives clinic, gifts to prep golfers

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jake Reddington doesn’t remember everything. When his house was struck by the EF-5 tornado May 20, he somehow made his way to the bath tub and hid as a twister destroyed his house. Beyond that, the Moore High junior said his memory is fuzzy on what happened.

“Toughest part has been probably having to deal with it all,” Reddington said, “just wondering what it was really like. I don’t remember the whole story about the tornado. There is a big part that’s missing. The nightmares are really the hardest, just thinking about it. It’s just all hard to deal with. I’m just 16 years old, and look (at) all that’s happened to me.”

When Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, heard the story of survival, he decided to do something for the community.

With Reddington being an avid golfer, a golf clinic was set up Monday at GolfSmith in Oklahoma City. Every member of the boys and girls golf teams from Moore, Westmoore and Southmoore were invited.

Farmers donated $2,100 to each school, but that was only an appetizer. The biggest surprise for Reddington and the rest of the high school kids took place when pro golfer and Oklahoma State alum Rickie Fowler was the clinic’s host.

Reddington has been an idol of Fowler for several years. Getting to meet him after everything he had gone through almost left him speechless.

“This is something I’m definitely going to remember,” Reddington said. “This is the coolest thing. Whoever would have thought seven or eight months ago, I’d survive a tornado, get to meet Rickie Fowler. It’s a blessing from something that shouldn’t have been a blessing. It’s inspirational. Everything from even going to the same college I want to go to, he has done.”

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