How To Help

To contribute to the Ranken Jordan junior golf program or to ask any questions please e-mail me at This blog is not affiliated with Ranken Jordan. The views expressed on this blog are those of the author and not those of Ranken Jordan. Thank you for reading!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Get Into the Swing of It

While watching the Valero Texas Open PGA Tour event this past weekend I couldn't help but think of the multitude of ways the game of golf helps people.  During many of his interviews, Joe Gorder, President & COO of Valero, talked about the charitable contributions made by his company's event.  This year they were able to donate $10 million to charities.  Following the conclusion of the event, they will have over 2,500 golfers spread over several San Antonio area courses playing in an event to raise even more money for charity.  Last year alone the PGA Tour gave over $130 million to charities and have donated almost $2 billion in the Tour's history.  Add to that total the estimated $35 million raised in 2012 by players for their own charitable initiatives or foundations and you reach a mind-boggling amount of money.

Exactly what does all this money raised for charity actually mean?  For many of the recipients of this money it represents opportunity and hope.  It gives them the chance to improve their lives through education, physical fitness, or professional job training, and look forward to better days ahead.  Other times this opportunity and hope is related to health and the medical field.  A significant portion of the charitable dollars raised will go towards research into the myriad of diseases and afflictions that scientists and doctors are hopefully close to finding cures for.  Because of the money raised plenty of people will receive medical treatment that they otherwise would not have (oftentimes this is life-saving treatment).  The donations may help improve medical facilities or testing equipment.  Regardless of the organization receiving the money, it still represents the possibility of a brighter future for all those involved.

The charitable donations cited above do not include events like PGA Golf Day, Patriot Golf Day, or the thousands of local charity tournaments conducted each year around the country.  Many of the PGA Sections have begun to participate in the PGA Golf Day 100 hole marathon.  Those participating sections ask their golf professionals to play 100 holes of golf in one day, using 1 golf ball, and 1 hole at a time.  Last year in the Gateway Section we raised almost $88,000 that was donated to 5 different charities around our section.  This year we are hoping to see that number grow to over $100,000!  To learn more about this year's event please visit the Golf Day website HERE.

One other area of benefit from the game of golf is a person's direct involvement with golf.  This can come in the form of playing, going to the driving range, or watching a golf tournament either in person or on tv.  At Ranken Jordan we have attempted to capture all of those experiences in our program.  The over 1,100 kids our program has impacted in 2 years have enjoyed the opportunity to learn to play the game of golf.  This program shows them that they can be involved in sports regardless of their physical limitations (you can read quotes from the kids in the last blog post).  A couple of days each summer we have taken the kids to a local golf course to hit balls on the driving range.  Needless to say this is a very popular aspect of the program!  Last winter the kids had a chance to go play on a full-swing simulator and absolutely loved it.  Very soon they will have that same opportunity at Ranken Jordan as we will be adding a simulator at the hospital!  This summer the Senior PGA Championship presented by Kitchen Aid will be at Bellerive CC.  Don't be surprised if some of the kids are there watching in person.

In past posts I have talked about the charitable aspects of the game of golf.  Golf is a very giving game played by generous people.  It also is a game that anyone can play.  These two things create a unique atmosphere for the game benefiting people in ways no other sport can.  As the quotes in the last post illustrated, golf helps the kids at Ranken Jordan from a physical, social, and emotional standpoint, as well as showing them they can do something they may have never thought possible.  The funds raised through PGA Golf Day benefit the hospital from the financial contribution as well as the increased exposure for the facility throughout our region.  It is hard to believe that our program has had such a profound impact on the kids at Ranken Jordan and, as mentioned earlier, has touched over 1,100 kids.  Those of you who have learned more about Ranken Jordan will know that they have only 34 beds in their facility and yet we have managed to help that many children.  Imagine if programs like this, whether for children, wounded vets, seniors, etc., were more prevalent around the country.

I encourage you to get involved to whatever level you can.  Whether you are giving your time, money, or a combination of the two, do something to help.  I, and the kids and staff at Ranken Jordan, along with the Gateway PGA Section professionals would welcome your involvement with PGA Golf Day and/or Ranken Jordan directly (my e-mail address is at the top of the page should you want to contact me or have any questions).  But if you don't live in the metro St. Louis area and are more compelled to contribute to a local charity, please do that!  I speak from experience when I say that you don't realize the impact you can have until you see that child's face light up when they hit a good golf shot or see a parent with tears of joy running down their face as they watch their son or daughter do something they never dreamed possible.

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