This time of year we see those famous red kettles at every doorway. Our mail includes year-end appeals from various charities all looking for ways to increase their budget so that they can continue to do good work in the community throughout the entire year. Our phones are ringing with volunteers asking us to dig a little deeper to help those in need. All fantastic charities.
So what makes Eagles for Children different? Everything. We don’t solicit households for donations. We don’t pay staff with the donations. We approach a very select group of people with a very strong passion: golf.
The idea of using one great moment on the golf course, “an eagle,” to benefit thousands – or potentially millions of children in need, inspired Hal Zaima and Don Kegley, friends and life-long golf enthusiasts, to test the Eagles for Children program at Oakland Hills Country Club in 2012.
Three other area clubs agreed to join, and by the end of the season, the clubs had raised nearly $40,000, which was awarded to 14 different children’s charities in the Detroit – Metropolitan area.
The Eagles for Children concept is simple: Each country club member pledges to donate a minimum of $2 for every eagle scored by members and their families at their club. And every penny of every dollar raised goes straight to local children’s charities.
With Eagles for Children’s stunning inaugural success, Zaima, Kegley and other committee members are working closely with clubs in an effort to expand the program across Michigan and the United States.
Now, after the completion of the fourth year, Eagles for Children has expanded to seven clubs. These seven clubs celebrated 278 eagles during the 2015 season. So, they were able to present 38 individual grants to local children’s charities that equal $219,861. The group elebrated with nearly 100 guests at Oakland Hills Country Club to present the local charities with their checks. The seven clubs enrolled in the program are: Oakland Hills Country Club, Walnut Creek Country Club, Pine Lake Country Club, Country Club of Detroit, Western Golf & Country Club, Red Run Country Club, and Detroit Golf Club. For the complete list of this year’s children’s charities, go to http://www.eaglesforchildren.org/charities/.
“This year — in just four short golf seasons, —the fledgling nonprofit has raised a total of $552,006 –one eagle at a time, said Beth Meade, executive director.” “It is an amazing accomplishment that this can be done in just a few short months, playing a game the club members love that is changing the lives of the children in our local community.”
Eagles for Children is fun, it’s simple, it builds camaraderie on the course – and it’s changing lives.