Monday, July 20, 2009

2009 Golf Benefit

From Golf Benefit

The 14th Annual Jimmy Biggs Memorial Cabrini Connections Golf Benefit, held on Thursday, July 16, at Highland Park Country Club, was a tremendous success. 97 people played golf and more than 120 attended our dinner and silent auction. I would like to personally thank everyone -- volunteers, students, staff, board members, donors, everyone! -- who helps write and tell the Cabrini Connections story. Attendance at the golf benefit was a huge show of support for the work we do and the goals our students attain, none of which would be possible without your generous donations.

As I arrived at the country club in the morning, I could feel the excitement. Rows upon rows of golf carts were awaiting our departure and as each foursome checked in, they looked truly happy to be there. It was nice to put a face to some of our benefactors -- people that really believe in the power of tutoring and mentoring and, specifically, our work.

I would especially like to thank Bill Iwami for so graciously welcoming me. In my first two weeks at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, I have met so many people that the task of meeting more can seem overwhelming at times. I was anxious to meet everyone at the golf benefit, but I was also nervous about the sheer number of names and stories to absorb. Anyways, Bill was one of the first to greet me and tell me about his involvement with Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection, and the golf benefit. It turns out that he is on our advisory council and has been coming to the golf benefit since its first outing. He has a good sense of the trajectory of our organizations and the principles that drive us. It is very reassuring to know that others "get it" and that they are actively helping us make a difference. Thank you, Bill.

For the afternoon I was assigned to co-supervise Hole 11, one of four par 3s that were a part of the hole-in-one contest. The prize? Round-trip tickets for four to Ireland. $10,000 was the prize on another hole. There would be no stroke of luck, though, as yet again no one made a hole-in-one. Everyone did, however, have a great time. The sun was out, and as each group passed by our hole, I could tell they were in high spirits.

In the middle of the day I ventured over to the 3rd hole to see Ismail Coye, President Obama's personal barber and owner of Hyde Park Hair Salon. He was offering free trims and shaves. I started to chat with him and, very quickly, we began to share life stories with each other. He was very open about his life, as was I with mine. He shared some of his opinions about life and art. I really value that coversation and I hope to stay in touch with Ismail as I continue my work at Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection.

As play came to a close, the only unfortuante episode of the day occured. Our President and CEO, Daniel Bassill, suddenly became sick and had to be sent home. Dan consistently gives 110% to support our organizations and tutoring and mentoring, so I know his affliction must have been very serious. Thankfully, a former student and her friend volunteered to drive Dan home and I am happy to report that he is feeling better. We wish him the best as he continues to recover.

Though we were sad to lose Dan, the night had to go on! -- and it did in wonderful fashion. More than 120 people turned out for a catered dinner of salad, ham, chicken, ribs, cornbread, dessert, and more! After a long day on the course, I think everyone was satisfied by the offerings. As dinner went along, so did the silent auction. In the end, more than 60 items were auctioned off including a plethora of signed sports memorabilia. Thanks to all of the businesses and individuals who donated items and to all of those that won. Enjoy!

Thanks again to everyone involved in the golf benefit in any way. Even if you were unable to attend or make a contribution, you can still help by sharing our story. Share this story. Share our web sites. Share personal stories. The more we talk about tutoring and mentoring, the more its value will be recognized and the necessary funds will be donated. As we approach the 2009-2010 academic school year, I hope you will join in our mission. Thank you.

From Golf Benefit

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