LPGA star, Olympic medalist, OurChart blogger volunteer to be auctioned off as caddies for event
The forth annual Fairway to Equality golf tournament raised almost $45,000 for the Human Rights Campaign this past weekend, but organizers are saying that, more importantly, it raised awareness.
“It’s events like this one that are so great because they don’t just bring in funds, they also help to bring attention to this organization that is such a powerful force with over 700,000 members and a great lobbyer for our community,” Ourchart.com blogger Lisa Parish said.
Parish volunteered as a celebrity caddy for the event, along with basketball hall of famer and Olympic medalist Nancy Lieberman and Ladies Pro Golf Association player Rosie Jones.
The three auctioned off their services as caddies at a dinner two days before the event that focused on bringing women together in the name of HRC. Parish’s skills went for $2,400. Jones sold for the most money at more than $3,500.
Kera Ward, one of the members of the four-person team that bought Jones’ skills, said that it was because “she’s so damn sexy that we just wanted to hang out with her all day.”
But Theresa Bates, another member of the team, says that they bid on Jones because “we all just thought that she would do amazing things for our golf skills. No amount of golf lessons could be equal to this great opportunity to learn from a world class player.”
Jones was happy to help them out.
“I’ve been looking forward to this tournament for a long time because golf is such a good way to promote togetherness,” she said. “Popular sports like this are a great at bringing a community together because everyone loves them, and everyone loves spending time together while playing them.”
Margot Regula-Rosen, associate director of membership and community events for HRC, said she agrees.
“Women across the board enjoying playing this game,” she said. “That means we can pair non-HRC members up with HRC members, and they can have a good dialogue about the group during the game. It does so much to build our membership and expand what people know.”
To raise awareness, HRC also placed signs at each tee with statistics about discrimination against the LGBT community, such as in 36 states LGBT have no protection for homeownership rights. Lori Garza, one of the three co-chairs in charge of the event, says that this strategy was very successful.
“I had a lot of straight co-workers help out this year,” Garza said. “One of the biggest things they kept mentioning to me was the signs. They were all so shocked at how much discrimination was out there.”
Garza also stressed how recruiting volunteers from outside the HRC community was another strategy used to promote awareness.
Gailene Jaques served as the treasurer for the event.
“This was absolutely the most rewarding and enriching experience I have ever had doing volunteer work,” Jaques said. “The people involved are so passionate about HRC and golf. They made it a lot of fun, and I encourage others to sign up to help.”
Planning for next year’s tournament has already begun. To get more information on volunteering, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first place team was Lisa Becker, Katey Bookhammer, Cheri Howe and Lea Ratcliff. Second place went to Louise Ritter, Stephanie Smith, Debra Dobbs and Kimberly Harl. Winner Laws, Carolyn Manuel and Rhonda Givens placed third.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 8, 2007.