Everything you need to know about this family-friendly putt-putt course
Give Kids The World Village is filled with family-friendly and accessible entertainment, and one of our most popular of those offerings is Marc’s DinoPutt. Take a dive into how this course came to be, what we’re up to today, and even test your knowledge with a quick quiz.
Behind the name: The story of Marc McConnell
On December 3, 2002 Give Kids The World Village celebrated the grand opening of Marc’s DinoPutt, a seven hole golf course, filled with friendly dinosaurs and magical experiences. Like most venues and attractions at the Village, this venue was named after a remarkable wish child – Marc McConnell.
Marc along with his siblings and parents visited the Village for his wish trip in 1999, where his wish all started as a way to say “thank you” to his family for standing by him as he faced his critical illness. Jill, Marc’s mother, says “sharing Marc’s incredible spirit through his life story is the reason the Dino-Putt became called Marc’s DinoPutt, Marc shared with Pam and so many others that children as not afraid of dying, they are afraid of being forgotten.”
This one-of-a-kind miniature golf course was built in collaboration with Universal Orlando, a long-time supporter of the Village who not only understood the mission of Give Kids The World but also the need to honor Marc. Marc’s DinoPutt ensures that Marc will indeed never be forgotten, and his kind spirit will continue to live on at Give Kids The World and beyond. This miniature golf course not only holds a special place in the heart of the McConnell Family, but all wish families who find laughter, and memories there.
“Marc’s DinoPutt is a miracle of the most extraordinary kind, it is (to describe it in the way Marc viewed so many life experiences) ‘the awesomest’ miniature golf course that can be found anywhere!” – Wish Mom Jill
A special visit from the PGA
PGA Tour golfers Kevin Streelman and Hank Lecioda recently visited the Village for a practice round of putting at Marc’s DinoPutt ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. While their goal was to bring inspiration and smiles to wish families, they never realized just how much their lives would be touched in return.
Wish families often say how much the Village volunteers, staff and supporters give to them, but little do they know they give that all and more in return. During the practice round, just as Kevin started at hole one, a 9-year-old wish sibling named Emily asked to join them and they became fast friends. Not only did he spend time teaching Emily proper technique, but he helped to build her confidence. The encouraging nature was a natural fit at Give Kids The World, where the goal is to provide a week of “yes” for the whole family during their stay.
“I’m trying to get through this, as a father of a six and four-year-old, seeing what these children go through, said Kevin. “That they have a place of hope and joy, is pretty amazing.”
It’s moments like this when one realizes how special the Village is, where no matter who you are or where you come, from the goal is always to unite together and provide happiness and hope for all families who visit. Kevin and Hank provided this to visiting families and added another precious memory to the list at Marc’s DinoPutt.
Now let’s take a quiz!
What’s your story?
Share your favorite memory of Marc’s DinoPutt with us! Post a photo or tell your story on social media, tag us and use #GiveHopeToWishes. We can’t wait to read them.