Provides support to the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center, Inc. (ACT)
Needless to say, this past summer has proven very difficult, if not catastrophic for many of the golf courses, association members, employees, and their families in our area. Hurricane Charlie arrived in Southwest Florida, on Friday, August 13, 2004 and for weeks following the storm, many employees returned home daily without water to shower, electricity to stay cool, or food to eat. Some had lost everything. Since then, golf course superintendents and their staffs have worked endlessly to return their courses back to acceptable playing conditions. Families have worked long hours not only at their jobs, but have returned home to conquer home repairs, insurance adjusters, contractors, or simply help friends and neighbors. Everyone associated in this wonderful profession offered help to others. On several occasions I heard, “Come stay at my house. I have electricity, water, and food for you and your family.” All of these people have been trying to reach one goal, returning their lives back to what they remember– normality. Some still have not reached this goal. Many return to work daily and observe anything from ongoing tree work that needs to be done to total golf course reconstruction.
As I write this message and look back at this past summer, it seems that August and September were a blur. After Charlie came Francis, then Ivan, and finally Jeanne. Did we finish all of those aerifications scheduled this summer? What about those special projects that were scheduled? Some of us did, some of us did not. Nevertheless, Fall was here and it was time to prepare and fine-tune every detail on our courses to be ready for our winter season. Where did the summer go? Member attendance at our past monthly meetings had been minimal (as low as 18) since many were tending to the needs of their golf courses and families.
Finally, November had arrived and it was time to finalize any last minute details for our Second Annual Christmas Charity Tournament. As last year, the tournament was to be held at Kelly Greens Country Club in Fort Myers. For the second consecutive year, 100% of the proceeds were to be donated to the Abuse Counseling and Treatment Center, Inc. (ACT). ACT is a local organization that counsels, shelters, advocates, educates and helps victims/families that have been exposed to abuse. The Calusa GCSA board decided that this again would be our charity of choice due to the tremendous amount of stress presented to these families from the recent hurricanes. Phone calls started coming in and the RSVPs started to increase as the date grew near. Suppliers started calling with donations, and without them this would not have been such a tremendous success. We had a wonderful turnout of 65 members and guests for fun, food, and some golf. Golf course superintendent Glen McCandless had the golf course in tremendous condition, which resulted in a wonderful event.
The Calusa GCSA raised $1,100, which was used to purchase gift cards so that families could purchase food, clothes, toys, or any other necessary items. After everything everyone had gone through this past summer, it was great to see some old friends conversing and sharing their experiences this past summer. The Calusa Golf Course Superintendents Association consists of 145 members that mostly reside in Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry and Glades counties of Southwest Florida. Members include golf course superintendents, suppliers, assistant superintendents and others in the golf course and turfgrass profession.
For this day, everyone came together and unselfishly donated their time and money to give back to those in the community who were in need. How wonderful it is to see our members come together and attend a great outing, and give to such a deserving and charitable cause! What a personal reward it was to present the gifts to ACT and represent part of such a great organization comprised of outstanding individuals who prove that we can overcome any obstacle through hard work, dedication and perseverance.
Submitted by Greg Kriesch, Calusa GCSA External
To share your chapter's success stories, please email them to Leann Cooper.