It was not that long ago that golf, during the height of the recession was held up by many as a bad force in the world. Politicians in their inimitable style distanced themselves from the sport while the media portrayed it as a rich man’s sport with little redeeming social value.
With this recent background, we should not forget the many fundraisers which are based around golf events and that provide wonderful vehicles for a multitude of charities. Over the years I have been fortunate to participate in a number of these around the USA and my experience this week in Charleston, S.C. was memorable on various levels.
The event was a fundraiser for the Childrens Hospital of Charleston hosted at Bulls Bay Golf Club, which is located to the north of Charleston. The owner of Bulls Bay, Mr. Joe Rice was a gracious and generous host as he opened the doors to his Club to this event. The event followed the fairly predictable format of golf, drinks, dinner, auction,etc….but with a twist. Immediately after dinner the mother of a young man spoke without notes for 40 minutes about her son’s experience at the hospital, since being diagnosed with leukemia on July 5, 2010. Her presentation was riveting, from the heart, but concise and with all of her emotions shared as to what her son and family endured during a long and painful process. Thankfully her son is now back in University and returning to the life of an active 19 year old. I will long recall her vivid recounting of their experiences with Children’s Hospital.
The live auction was next on the agenda with various unique items for sale and was well supported by the audience.
Immediately following the auction Edwin McCain sang 4 or 5 songs before being joined on stage by Darius Rucker. Both of the artists were appearing for the 150 or so people in the room at no charge…they were doing it as one of the many ways they support worthwhile causes. McCain was terrific. He was funny, some great stories between songs about LG and his BBQ and also family insights…all with a wonderful sense of humor. To cap the night off they auctioned a night of their songs….they would come to your venue to play for you and your friends…..Rucker & McCain…importantly all proceeds to a worthwhile cause. The bidding reached $40,000 quickly and equally quickly McCain said that if both bidders would agree to $50,000 they would perform twice! Agreed and as simple as that, another $100,000 had been raised for the Children’s Hospital. McCain and Rucker are two gentlemen who know how to use their celebrity & talent in a very positive way.
Golf is a terrific catalyst which gets together wonderful people who are generous with both their time and resources. Sadly the media often misses many of the smaller stories like this.