Swinging for a cure: Tyler Trent Foundation holds fourth annual charity golf outing


The Tyler Trent Foundation has received extensive support, raising more than $360,000 for pediatric cancer research since its establishment in 2019.

The foundation, made in honor of late Purdue student Tyler Trent, has provided researchers across the country with the ability to receive more grant funding for pediatric cancer research. Trent, 20, of Carmel, died January 1, 2019, after fighting an aggressive form of bone cancer known as osteosarcoma.

On June 10, the foundation, led by Trent’s parents, Tony and Kelly, continued raising more money by holding its fourth annual Tee Off for Tyler charity outing at the Sagamore Club in Noblesville, where it raised more than $150,000.

The outing was sold out, with 144 golfers participating. The community also got involved by bidding on items such as VIP sports experiences, autographed sports gear and more in a silent auction.

People from across the country come to the event each year, and Kelly Trent said that is part of what makes the outing one of her favorite days of the year.

“The people that come back every year and the relationships that have formed because of that makes it a really special day,” she said. “It is the people that make it so special.”

Tony and Kelly Trent with Former VP Mike Pences
From left, Tony Trent, former Vice President Mike Pence and Kelly Trent at the outing. (Photo by Jessica Todd)

This year’s event also featured a helicopter ball drop and opening remarks from the Trents. Former Vice President Mike Pence was also in attendance, sharing some thoughts about Tyler and offering the opening prayer.

“We got a call when Tyler was sick that former Vice President Mike Pence wanted to speak with us,” Tony Trent said. “That kind of started a relationship, and it is a special relationship between our family and former Vice President Mike Pence. He invited us to the White House, and we got to do a roundtable for pediatric cancer research.”

Pence said it has been one of his “great honors” to get to know the Trent family and saw Tyler’s story as one of faith and enthusiasm.

“He inspired not only the people in the Boilermaker world, but he inspired people all across the United States,” Pence said. “We want to continue that leadership. It is amazing to think that this foundation and Tyler’s efforts raised more than $100,000 for cancer research in the final months of his life when he was facing down extraordinary hardship.”

Tony Trent said he and his wife feel really good about how the fourth year of the charity outing went. They are fulfilled and honored by the number of golfers who participated.

“We are grateful to come back and do it again,” Tony said. “One dad in attendance has had two children who had cancer at the same time, and another dad just lost his child. Kids cancer is just as prevalent as any other cancer.”

With the outing being held at a new location in Noblesville this year, Tony said everything went well.

“We are grateful to have (had) the event at a new location and in a new club, but also to provide a different course for the players to play on,” he said.

According to the foundation, Tyler was relentless in his battle and driven by his love for Purdue sports. He managed to attend classes and games and never allowed cancer to prevent him from living out his dreams in sports journalism.

While Tyler Trent was an avid Purdue football fan, Kelly Trent said his first love was basketball.

“Tyler’s passion for Purdue sports really started when he wrote articles about the basketball team for the Purdue Exponent, so he would be delighted to know how well they did in this year’s tournament. A lot of people don’t realize he was a journalist his freshman year, and his task was to write about basketball,” Kelly said.

During his life, Tyler donated several of his tumors for cancer research. Those donations, along with the monetary donations provided by the Tyler Trent Foundation, have led to more opportunities for researchers in the field.

“We recently received two new awards through the rare cancers program at the Department of Defense, which were based in part on screening data conducted with Tyler’s tumor cells,” Karen Pollok, IU School of Medicine researcher and one of Tyler’s doctors said. “We are humbled to be able to conduct this work and appreciate the Trent family’s continued support. It is making a difference.”

Kelly said one of the best gifts people can give someone who has lost a child is remembering them, which is why she enjoys the annual golf outing.

“This is a day where I know he is not forgotten,” Kelly said. “All of the people coming back and the money that continues to be raised is one of the best gifts that can be given.”

The Tyler Trent Foundation supports local and national organizations targeting pediatric cancer research, including Riley Hospital for Children, Purdue Institute for Cancer Research and OS Therapies.

For more, visit tylertrentfoundation.com.

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Tyler Trent was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 15.

According to the Tyler Trent Foundation, Trent founded Teens with a Cause, which recruits young people to perform service projects for families affected by cancer.

At Purdue, Trent joined the Dance Marathon Club, a student organization that raises funds and awareness for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, where he received treatment. He also worked as a sports writer for The Exponent, Purdue’s student newspaper.

In 2023, Kelly and Tony Trent announced the establishment of Purdue’s Tyler Trent Pediatric Cancer Research Center within the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research.