So if you are wondering where I’ve been for the last two weeks and why in the world I’ve been a neglectful blog parent I’ll have to answer with a four letter word.
My company is the lead sponsor for a charity golf tournament. The Scramble for the Orphans benefits the Ndengera Foundation in Gisenyi, Rwanda. The proceeds have been used to build classrooms, dig a clean water well, outfit a medical clinic and generally make life better for lots of kids.
I’m the tournament director. This is not as impressive as it sounds. It mostly means that annually, I lose all my pride and any sense of balance in my life. I spend at least a month begging everyone I know and many people I do not know to sponsor holes, donate prizes, agree to volunteer or come out and golf. It means my family and friends come through and do an enormous amount of work. It means my office becomes a storage unit for golf balls, raffle prizes, sponsor bling and mulligan fun packs. It means that every August I’m overwhelmed by people’s generosity, by their compassion and creativity and by how God can make up the difference when I drop the ball.
I have a little secret for you. I’ve been on a golf course exactly three times. Year one, two and three of the Scramble for the Orphans. Three years ago I knew nothing about golf. I still haven’t ever swung a club. I’ve learned a lot though about the game. Here’s the three most important things I know about running a successful tournament.
1. Hungry golfers are not happy golfers.
2. Thirsty golfers are not happy golfers.
3. Happy golfers donate more money than unhappy golfers.
Saturday was the big day and it was also the hottest day of the year. We went through twelve cases of water for 100 golfers and 20 or so volunteers. A pile of little girls got together with the help of a very dedicated mother and ran a lemonade stand at the tee box of hole 15. They blew through five bags of ice. The senior group at our church made cookies. The favorites appeared to be the chocolate chip coconut. I’m not a coconut fan but I ate several peanut butter cookies and one or two (okay maybe three) rice crispie treats.
A very impressive golfer almost won a new car. The same guy had a shot at a million dollars. It’s hard to get a hole in one from one hundred and sixty-five yards. He missed. If he’d made it I would have shamelessly asked for a donation. Fair warning to next year’s winner. Someone with the lucky raffle ticket number went home with a five hundred dollar gift card to a local spa. I almost tripped her on the way out and stole the card. This probably would not have helped with the public relations for next year’s tournament so I resisted. It looked like people had a good time. I sure did.
This morning my mom and I cleaned out my office. We recycled leftover brochures and random wrappers. We put back all the office supplies I pilfered on Friday to outfit the tournament. We put together a box of supplies for next year. I made a list of the final details; tax receipts and thank you’s. Then my favorite part; we counted the money and backed out the expenses. I know it, the fact that accounting is my favorite part just proves I’m a nerd. I won’t know a final number for a week or so, there are always donations and receipts that straggle in. I can tell you though that we came in this year right around $12,000. This should pay for the final project on our to do list; a Talapia fish farm. I’m still grinning. It turns out I love golf.