Doing for Others
Bogey. Birdie. Eagle. Common words for any avid golfer to hear and say. I wish I could say that’s how I know those words, but I am not a skilled golfer. I did, however, grow up under one’s guidance. My dad, the father of eight children, stayed active (and maybe saved his sanity!) by golfing regularly with a group of friends. I was the child who spent less time on the golf course than I did swimming in the club’s pool while Dad tried to beat his score from the prior week.
My childhood years are long gone, but the lessons I learned from Dad have stayed with me. Dad taught me through his words and actions how to always do the right thing; how to take the high road when situations are less-than-ideal; and how to be the person who finds ways to help rather than criticize.
Volunteering and Participating
Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to put Dad’s lessons into action by volunteering at two charity golf tournaments. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation Celebrity Golf Fundraiser benefits youth in the Greater East St. Louis area so they see greater success in academics, athletics and leadership. The Bergheger Golf Classic benefits cancer research at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
Both events inspired me. I saw golfers ready for a day of fun and camaraderie, and I also saw them opening their wallets and hearts for the charitable causes for which they were playing. I saw volunteers give of their time and talents to make everything flow more smoothly. And I saw leaders of these events expertly manage the minor ‘hiccups’ inevitable when running events of this magnitude and juggle the many responsibilities on their shoulders.
I had a strong desire to help at both tournaments but was still a bit cautious given my lack of golfing prowess. I wondered if others would notice I didn’t know the first thing about golfing. Some did because I was not successful with driving a golf cart to sell raffle tickets to the golfers on the course (although I’m told it’s quite easy). On the other hand, I made my first putt right after I told the golfer who challenged me that I’m not a golfer. (He seemed impressed; I seemed surprised!)
Making an Impact
I honestly think it’s because of Dad’s lessons that I ended up enjoying myself so much at each event. I put my worries aside and instead immersed myself in environments full of giving people. And, really, this is what charity events are all about- giving of ourselves in whatever ways we can to best help with the overall cause.
My dad passed away three months ago. He’s no longer here to impart his great wisdom on me. Thankfully, I was a good ‘student’ all those years I had the honor of learning from him. I have a feeling he was shaking his head at my attempt to drive the cart but beaming proudly when the putt fell in the hole. Thanks, Dad. Couldn’t have done it without you.