Friday, July 16, 2010

Here Comes the Sun: Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit

Waking up yesterday morning, my first move after brewing a cup of tea was to check the weather forecast. Oh no: Thunder. It was the day of the Jimmy Biggs Memorial Golf Benefit for Cabrini Connections and Tutor/Mentor Connections, one of the biggest annual fundraiser events for the organization, so my fellow staff members and I had been holding our breath for sunshine all week.

By the time I arrived at Highland Park Country Club in the late morning, the clubhouse was already buzzing with excitement as Cabrini Connections, T/MC supporters, staff, mentors, board members, alumni and friends prepared for tee time.

For the duration of the tournament, I was stationed at Hole Seven along with Kevin, a Cabrini Connection alumnus who graduated in 2007. We enjoyed introducing ourselves and chatting with each foursome as they played the hole. I was struck by the variety of individuals represented amongst the 88 golfers: they ranged from people who have played in the tournament for over a decade to mentors who have worked with students for many years to individuals who previously knew nothing about Cabrini Connections but were out enjoying a day of golf with their friends.

Although nobody landed a-hole-in-one at our supposedly lucky number seven (there were some very close calls!), everyone was still in good spirits and having a fantastic day on the course.

By dinner time, I was thrilled to have met so many wonderful individuals who are all important to Cabrini Connections in one way or another. During a delicious meal, we heard from a program alumnus about the importance of his mentor relationship, and a current student discussed how her experiences in the Video and Filmmakers Club are influencing her career goals. President Dan Bassill then shared a bit more about our programs and made a sports analogy about how in order to get students and mentors “on the field,” we needed "fans and supporters" contributing whatever resources they can—be they in the form of talents, monetary donations, or networks.

As the evening drew to a close and as golfers departed with full stomachs, sunburns, and items from the silent auction, it donned on me that it hadn’t rained or thundered all day. Just as we saw the sun quite literally persist through the clouds yesterday, I also saw hope in a more figurative sense. Forgive my cheesy analogy, but in this time when the financial forecast is so grim and the majority of individuals must tighten their budgets, it is comforting to know that people are still generous and give what they can.

The day was a huge reminder of how many people it takes to make important programs stay alive. We face an uphill battle with the economy, but today I was grateful to see such a strong showing of supporters. I am so glad I had the chance to meet many wonderful people and thank you all for a great day in the sun!!

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