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7Everyday Hero Jerry Clinkscales helps raise money for burn victims

Annual golf tourney helps Western States Burn Ctr
Posted at 8:49 AM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-11 10:49:36-05

GREELEY, Colo. -- As we have seen this year in Colorado, oil and gas well fires are not uncommon and they can result in serious injuries. 

But if someone does suffer burns in Northern Colorado, 7Everyday Hero Jerry Clinkscales is there to help. 

"In the oil field, gas field, burns are the biggest injuries we have out here," Clinkscales said. 

Clinkscales would know. He proudly spent more than 40 years in the oil and gas industry. When he retired, he had an idea. 

"We decided we wanted to have a local golf tournament for the oil field people," Clinkscales said. 

The golf tourney started in 1991. 

"The first year we gave one thousand dollars," Clinkscales said. 

In a nod to oil field workers, Jerry and his friends call their group the Knights of Swallows. 

"A lot of people move around in this industry a lot like the swallows migrate," said Tim Paterniti with Knights of Swallows. 

And all the money the group raises goes to the Western States Burn Center at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley. 

"We have given around a half a million dollars over the years to the burn unit," Clinkscales said. 

"It has supported our equipment needs, our patient needs, as well as our staff needs. And we are so grateful for this resource, really," said Rebecca Garber with Western States Burn Center. 

The money helps people like John Sperle. 

"I was in a severe fire. It was a vehicle fire. And I was severely burned. And I spent three months here as a patient. I was burned on 43 percent of my body, second and third degree burns. And it was on my arms up to my t-shirt line," Sperle said. 

Sperle was so impressed with the Western States Burn Center he decided to volunteer at the facility. 
He said he is wowed by the staff and impressed with Clinkscales' fundraising efforts. 

"A lot of people have benefited from his efforts," Sperle said. 

"I am very proud of what we have done," added Clinkscales. 

To learn more about the Western States Burn Center, click here.

Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on 7NEWS. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.