by MaryAnn Souter
Arizona’s golfers are a generous group year round but especially during the holidays when their spirit of giving is demonstrated with energy and enthusiasm. Committees are formed and parties are planned all for the purpose of helping the less fortunate. Women’s golf leagues raise money, donate goods and volunteer their time to a diverse group of charities which help those in need.
Although one person’s contribution does make a difference, a group working together can greatly increase the power of giving and the impact made on the lives of countless individuals. Women golfers in Arizona have proven to live by the characteristics touted by all golfers: solid values, integrity, responsibility and benevolence. Over 300 women’s golf clubs statewide are giving generously this holiday season. Here are just a few.
Ladies Grand Niners at Sun City Grand: Mary Anne Lyons, co-chair for holiday giving, reported that their charity is Luke AFB Operation Warm Hearts. It provides holiday gifts for children of our service people. Many of our military families live on a limited income and some even need food stamps. The ladies raise money and purchase gifts under the advisement of the First Sergeants by selling raffle tickets and Entertainment Books. This year a local restaurant is hosting a fundraising night in which 20% of their profits will come back to the Grand Niners to benefit this worthy cause.
Foothills Golf Group/Ahwatukee LGC: Joyce Blobner said their women started a Teddy Bear drive with the Phoenix Fire Department in 1999. A few years later, responding to a request from Banner Desert Hospital, they began donating blankets. The ladies now buy teddy bears and make blankets year round. Joyce adds, “It’s a true labor of love. Knowing that warmth and love is given to a child in need is what motivates all of us.” Whether their crisis is due to a fire, accident or cancer treatment, the teddy bears and blankets make a difference. In Joyce’s words, “they have warmed a heart and brought a smile to a sad face.” The ladies donate over 100 blankets and 150 bears every year!
Red Mountain Ranch WGA: Edith Melton reported that the women from Red Mountain Ranch hold many events and fundraisers for Sunshine Acres, a home for children in Mesa. The club plans Christmas shopping trips with the children with the money they raise during the year. In the past they have collected thousands of dollars and have taken hundreds children shopping with gift cards.
Tonto Verde 9-Hole GA: According to Kris Amborn, these ladies contribute to several organizations during the holidays. They collect and donate for the “Toys for Tots” program, participate in a fundraiser for Sunshine Acres and purchase two hole-sponsorships for the Tonto Verde Rally for the Cure.
In the end, the legacy we leave will not be measured by what we received but by what we have given. Give generously this holiday season!