Windsor GC raised money to buy golf club sets for kids whose clubs were lost in the October 2017 Northern California wildfires, and has since given 12 sets to kids in need.
The wildfires in Northern California in October 2017 destroyed at least 245,000 acres and 8,900 buildings. Once the blazes were under control, residents sought to re-establish a sense of normalcy—which, for Windsor (Calif.) Golf Club, meant getting golfers swinging again.
However, some residents lost their possessions in the fires, including golf clubs. Matt Kwan, whose two sons play in Windsor GC’s junior program, approached the club’s Marketing & Sales Director, Demian Reddy, PGA, about setting up a fund to provide replacement golf clubs for kids.
“Unbeknownst to us, one of the gentlemen who works in the pro shop, Neal Hellman, had the same idea,” Reddy says.
Hellman started an account in the club’s pro shop to take in monetary donations from golfers as they passed through. Reddy also reached out to Tom Hackle, who organizes Windsor GC’s annual Growler Golf event.
“[The Growler] is always held the last weekend of the year and it’s normally not a charity event,” Reddy says. “This year I approached the gentleman who runs it and I said we have this thing going on, so maybe for the first time we could take a little bit of the entry that we charge, and what’s left over from a little of the prize money, and put it towards this [cause]. He thought it sounded like a great idea.”
Then, Reddy contacted Ping, Callaway and TaylorMade, and worked out an agreement through which Windsor GC would receive a discount on the wholesale price of golf club sets.
“Basically we’ve just been mixing and matching [golf clubs], Reddy says. “I’ve [asked] the parents and children if they have a preference of any of those three, but most haven’t—they’ve just been happy to be getting something new in replacement, and in many cases it may be better than what they had previously, so they’re excited.
“The manufacturers know about the fires and what happened, and they’re willing to help out a little bit, so that was good as well,” Reddy says.
As of mid-February, Windsor GC had given seven sets of clubs to children of member families, and five to families in the community (of the total of 12, Reddy adds, eight were for boys and four for girls). To ensure families know about the program, Reddy has asked employees and contacts in the junior program to spread the word.
“Parents have contacted us directly upon learning of the opportunity, and I have in turn ordered the appropriate age/gender/dexterity set for the child,” he says.
The account in Windsor’s pro shop now has enough money in it to provide an additional six to eight sets of clubs to children in need, Reddy says.
“At this point, we’re not trying to necessarily raise more money, as we have the cash on hand,” he adds. “But if we could find another handful of kids, we’d be happy to help them out. The replacement of even one set could be considered a success. We are happy to help where there is a need.”