Following the success of last year’s Other Side Of The Green, the Kids Golf Foundation offered up the event for its male program participants for another round this year! The 3rd annual event was hosted Friday, April 29 to Saturday April 30, 2011 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove. Eleven Chicago area male Business Professionals were paired with eleven male Kids Golf participants ages 11-17 in a 9-hole golf scramble and mentoring activity.
A welcome dinner at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Aurora was held for the Kids Golf boys on Friday night marking the beginning of the two day event. The boys were given a chance to interact with each other and enjoy themselves before the early morning activities.
On Saturday, before the 9-hole scramble, the boys were split into groups and visited various activity stations. At each warm up station, the activity leaders incorporated life skills such as communication, preparation, concentration, vision, and balance into golf fundamentals like putting, chipping, stretching, and full swing.
Returning activity leader Chip Flesher was eager to spend time with the participants. “When you’re a kid, it’s important to spend time with a mentor. So giving back to the boys today is very gratifying to me,” said Flesher.
The day’s activities proved very beneficial to the kids as well. “I really enjoyed playing golf and talking with my mentor. He gave me good advice in life and I feel I can benefit a lot from it,” said participant, Imad Longi of Dupage AME. “I’m able to view life through a different perspective.”
The kids and adults were treated to a Luncheon and Silent Auction after the scramble and were given a chance to network and recap the day’s activities. Each kid participant was given the opportunity to earn pretend money to bid on items at the Kids Silent Auction during their round by asking questions, initiating conversation, making eye contact, and presenting themselves in a professional manner. A separate auction was held for the adults which helped to raise money for the event.
The event was assisted by 22 supportive volunteers, including a Business Professional participant from 2010, Matt Aquino. “I love being around kids, and I love being around golf,” said Aquino. “I still keep in touch with my mentee, and play golf with him and his family regularly. We have formed a friendship, and hopefully I became his lifelong mentor.” In addition to Other Side of the Green, Aquino has volunteered his time at numerous other Foundation events.
Past participant Taylyn Campbell was also in attendance and gave a presentation about his past experiences at the event. “The Kids Golf Foundation has done a lot for me, so I wanted to do something for them in return,” said Campbell. “I chose to speak because it’s good for the boys to know my life story, and I want to influence them never to give up.”
Accompanying support from volunteers was a generous contribution from the Efroymson Family. The family has been contributing annually since 2004 to support Other Side Of The Green, as well as the female event Thinking Outside The Tee Box through the Efroymson Family Fund, a Central Indiana Community Foundation Fund.
With help from volunteers, participants, and other supporters the event was a huge success! In its 3rd year, Other Side Of The Green has formed 35 relationships between mentors and mentees. If you are interested in getting involved, please visit our website at www.kidsgolffoundation.org for more information.