Last week, while I was in Washington, D.C., I received an email from Grassroots Ambassador and Class C member Mitch Savage of Green Valley Ranch in Colorado. He wanted to wish me a happy National Golf Day. He felt that it seemed fitting, I assumed because we were all in DC celebrating the game of golf but it was much more than that. Green Valley Ranch was hosting the NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championships. The flags were flown on each green in conjunction with the NCAA and the Folded Flag Foundation. There were pictures and bios of fallen soldiers on each tee box honoring their sacrifice. As Mitch said, it was “pretty powerful stuff.”
This was my first visit to D.C. and I really didn’t know what to expect. Admittedly, I was a tad nervous...
I just think this is fitting. What other industry, or sport for that matter, has the ability to generate charitable monies the way the game of golf can? The numbers are still ringing in my ear from repeating them in the seven Capitol Hill meetings that I attended: “Golf raises more money for charity than all other sports combined. Annually, the game generates $3.9 billion for philanthropic causes, almost all of which are unrelated to the golf industry.” This comes straight from We Are Golf's "benefits of golf" card. If you don’t have one, let me know, I will do my best to get one in your hands. Knowing the information on this card will empower you to become a better golf advocate.
This was my first visit to D.C. and I really didn’t know what to expect. Admittedly, I was a tad nervous about my scheduled meetings. That all went away as soon as Senator Daines from Montana walked up to me and introduced himself and we began to talk. It was as simple as that. From that point on, I had the time of my life. I ended up meeting four state senators and seven staffers that day, each as equally pleasant to talk to.
|Senator Barrasso (WY) and Jeffrey Jensen, Jackson Hole Golf|
and Tennis Club
By now, most of you have probably already read about how well GCSAA was represented at National Golf Day (NGD). A lot of that credit has to go to Chava McKeel and her team. Kaelyn Seymour has been instrumental in gathering and training all of our grassroots ambassadors, many of which decided to come to NGD on their own dime. One, in particular, that I am very proud of is Jeffrey Jensen of Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Jeffrey became a grassroots ambassador as a Class C member and just recently became superintendent on May 12. Jeffrey actually received his bachelors in political science and had no problem taking vacation and spending his own money to make a difference. After watching him in action, I can tell that he will do great things for his association. He got right in there and met Senator Barrasso and Enzi and spelled out everything that he needed to do. It was a joy to watch him in action.
I didn’t have much time to see the sights but what inspired me most was how lucky we are as citizens of the United States to have direct access to the leaders of our government. Mitch's email that day was timely. This wouldn’t at all be possible without the sacrifices of our soldiers and their families. If your chapter is looking for a charity to support, I hope you will look no further than the Folded Flag Foundation. In recognition of our fallen heroes, the Folded Flag Foundation awards educational grants and scholarships to families of the U.S. military and employees of the U.S. government who have lost their lives while deployed in combat. Certainly a charity worth supporting.