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Charities scramble for funds



Published: Sat, June 30, 2012 @ 7:30 p.m.

by Jonah Karzmer

Welcome back Valley golfers!

Based on feedback from the last two weeks, it seems like we’re starting to hit our stride — Father’s Day, the U.S. Open, the Porters, and Jerry McGee turned out to be popular topics.

To keep the interest level up this week, I decided to write about a topic that usually resonates with just about everyone:

Money.

That’s right — golf and money are related in a number of ways. Golf course owners try to make a profit. The guys on Tour make more money than most of us could ever dream of. And we regular golfers are usually trying to take our, ahem, friends’ money on the course.

But what I want to write about this week is the way that golf is used to “raise” money for good causes.

To help me make my point, I reached out to a friend of mine who just incorporated golf as a fundraising tool for the organization he works for.

Todd Marian is the chief operating officer of the Youngstown-based nonprofit group called the Help Hotline Crisis Center, Inc.

In addition to maintaining a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week crisis hotline to help prevent suicides, Todd and his fellow employees and volunteers at Help Hotline also provide outright, or assist in, a number of other programs, such as: emergency shelter, guardianship, housing assistance, senior assistance, victim support groups and more.

Basically, if something bad is happening in someone’s life, Help Hotline wants to be there to help him or her through it.

This past week, Todd and his team held one of their biggest fundraisers of the year when they put on their third annual golf outing at Knoll Run Golf Course.

“Our committee works really hard for about four months on this,” Todd explained. “Our first year we had 12 teams. This year we had 24. I think that’s a testament to the work our committee does throughout the year.”

In addition to planning the outing format, Todd and his committee are responsible for bringing in groups to play, securing hole sponsors, approaching corporate sponsors, and trying to schedule a date for the event that doesn’t conflict with other outings.

So was all the hard work worth it for this year’s event?

“Yes, absolutely,” he said. “We had 24 foursomes, 30 hole sponsors, and two corporate sponsors. It was definitely a financial success.”

In Todd’s case, the money raised from their outing will go right to operations of suicide prevention hotline.

Last month, Help’s staff and volunteers answered a record 17,000 suicide calls.

Think about that — 17,000 phone calls to a suicide prevention hotline.

To conclude, Todd, keep up the good work at Help Hotline. And for all of us regular golfers, let’s try to remember all of the hard work and good causes behind this summer’s scramble season.

As always, thanks for reading, and until next week, “Hit ’em Straight.”

Jonah Karzmer is a former player at YSU and a member at The Lake Club. He works in insurance when not writing a golf column every Sunday in The Vindicator. Email him at jkarzmer@farmersagent.com.


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