The state of Illinois is fortunate to have a number of strong female groups that are dedicated to golf, business, and networking. Golf organizations such as the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), Illinois Women’s Golf Association (IWGA), Western Women’s Golf Association (WWGA), Intersuburban Golf League, Chicago Women’s District Golf Association, and The Fairway Network have participated and contributed in the advancement of women’s and girl’s golf throughout the state and the nation.
Many of these organizations have Chicago-based chapters with volunteer boards and hundreds of members. The EWGA for example, has a Chicago Metro Chapter with over 400 members and offers golf and social leagues, weekend events and tournaments, education, and a player development program that is dedicated to the new golfer with lessons and clinics. The IWGA, an all-volunteer organization is devoted to advancing golf opportunities for women and girls by conducting state championship tournaments.
Although these groups may offer different benefits to members, they all share a common belief in the integral role that golf has in shaping people’s lives. Collectively since their inception, these groups have contributed over 2 million dollars to help support golf in Illinois. In addition to monetary support, they have also provided countless resources to many charitable and youth organizations including the Kids Golf Foundation.
“Having the support of these associations is extremely important to our success,” said Holly Alcala, Director for the Kids Golf Foundation. “Many of the women who are members see the value of giving back to the sport and to our children. We are grateful for their support, time, and enthusiasm.”
In recent years, the Foundation has partnered with these associations through programs and special events that have had a profound effect on the lives of the participants involved by developing character traits such as responsibility, discipline, and integrity that are important to both the Foundation and the association.
“The EWGA is all about promoting golf for women in that it can help us in our lives and careers,” said member Robin Wagner, who participated as a business professional mentor in this year’s Thinking Outside The Tee Box. “The Foundation has allowed our members to give back to our younger generation of golfers by teaching them a positive and educational message through golf.”
Organizations like the EWGA have many outlets through which to get involved with the Foundation. Volunteering their time at events like Thinking Outside The Tee Box, sharing expertise as guest speakers, donating items for silent auctions, and providing resources are among the ways. Opportunities exist year-round, and the Foundation can work with an association to customize their involvement in order to maximize impact.
“We want the young girls in our program and events to understand that golf is a life long sport,” said Alcala. “We encourage them to view it as something that can help each of them personally and professionally. These associations provide opportunities for a lifetime and exposure to them could prove to be valuable to these youngsters later on in their life.”
Another small effort that can make an immense impact is spreading the word. As a nonprofit organization, the Foundation relies heavily on word of mouth in order to generate awareness for the variety of volunteer and support opportunities offered. Organizations can include information in a monthly newsletter or email blast to members, post to their website, or hand out flyers at an association meeting or event. If you know a golf facility, network, youth organization, or someone who might be interested in getting involved, you can help us by continuing to spread the word about our organization.
“I found out about the Foundation through my involvement with the Fairway Network,” said member, Crystal Caison. “This group is really good about facilitating information, and we are always looking for ways to give back.”
The next volunteer and support opportunity is coming this winter! The Foundation is celebrating its 10th year hosting a SNAG Interactive Zone at Mayor Daley’s Chicago Sports Festival to be held December 18-19, 2010 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. Should you wish to see the Foundation in action, meet our staff, network with past supporters, or volunteer your time, please contact us today at (630) 466-0913 or click here to learn more! For additional information, please visit our website at www.kidsgolffoundation.org to view our promotional video and image galleries.