It’s a “Bogey Ballton” Christmas – Book Review and Donation

Image of Book Cover for Bogey Ballton's Night Before Christmas

Go to Scooterpines.com to buy the book

Bogey Ballton’s Night Before Christmas  is a clever rendition of the classic “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” or “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore.

This is the second book review I have done of Bogey Ballton and it was because of the first review that I wanted to buy this Christmas book.

As with the first book, “Bogey Tees Off,” the illustrations are whimsical and fun; and a life lesson is part of the story.

I was really curious about how they would tell an iconic Christmas story with a golf theme and I was pleasantly surprised.  If you are a Christmas snob you may not like a book that takes on a classic but I loved the fun and quirky way the story portrays Santa and reindeer.

Again, when you give the gift of a Bogey Ballton book you are not just giving a great gift but you are also giving to charity.  So, I encourage everyone to get Bogey’s Christmas book.  Also, if you have not purchased “Bogey Tees Off” then buy both books and double the fun of reading with your child.  Or if you want to give the gift of reading to many children then do as I did and donate Bogey Ballton books to your local library.

Disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with the Bogey Ballton team.  I’m just a golf fan who likes Bogey Ballton books.

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Charity: Local Golf Course has “Turkey Day”

It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States and it is truly a time when American’s reflect on all that is good in life.  It is a time when helping others is in the forefront as charities like The Salvation Army, US Marine Toys For Tots, and many others are working to make the holidays joyful for those less fortunate.  And golf courses around the country also do their part to help.  I want to share just one example to highlight giving activities at local golf courses.

I received an email from a Massachusetts golf course, Juniper Hills sharing the results of their “Turkey Day” event.

Juniper Hill Turkey Day EventNot only did Juniper Hills give away the green fee for a frozen turkey but also donated proceeds from the purchase of food at the golf course to local food banks.  Here is the email copy:

Uniper Hill Email for Turkey DayBut Turkey Day is not the only activity at Juniper Hill that raises money.  They also support the national event, Patriot Golf Day, held Labor Day weekend.  Golfers add a dollar to their green fee and the donations are given to the Folds of Honor Foundation supporting veterans and their families.

Junioper Hill Thanks Golfers for Giving

For all the cynics who may think that $4,100 is not a lot of money and won’t make a difference in the big scheme of things.  You are so wrong.  If you think about all the independent golf courses supporting charities then you quickly realize how it all adds up.  As an example, the overview on the Patriots Golf Day website states “In the last five years, golfers nationwide have been instrumental in raising more than $12.8 million through Patriot Golf Day events.”

Finally, many charity organizations recognize the generosity of golfers and host golfing events at local courses.  All the major golf tours (e.g. The PGA, The LPGA) raise millions of dollars for charities and many professional golfers have foundations.  A Golf 20/20 press release (Golf 20/20 is “the collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the United States golf industry”) announced that “golf’s charitable impact” was “$3.9 billion in 2011” with “12,000 golf facilities (75 percent of U.S. total)” and “12 million participants.”

For me, the saying “Charity begins at home” rings true for local golf courses.  So congratulations to Juniper Hills Golf Course, as well as all local golf courses and golfers making a different this holiday season (and throughout the whole year).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Charity Spotlight: Birdies for Breast Cancer

One of the things that makes me proud to be a fan of golf is that so many golfers support a variety of causes and give back to many great charities.  Many of the professional golfers have started charitable organizations.  This post is about Birdies for Breast Cancer, a charity of golfer Cristie Kerr.

Birdies for Breast Cancer supports women’s health.  According to the website the event has raised over $2,000,000 since it’s inception and this is the 8th year.  Specifically, the funds raised help support the Cristie Kerr Women’s Health Center at Jersey City Medical Center in New Jersey.  What caught my eye was the statement that the health center provides care to women “regardless of their ability to pay.”  Kerr recently tweeted that the health center (which was opened in 2010) has performed “over 15,000 exams.”

On October 1, 2012 the fund-raising event “Birdies for Breast Cancer Celebrity Golf Classic” takes place at Liberty National Golf Course.  If you want to donate to the charity you have a few options.  You can go to the Donation page (image below) which has a number of options.  I like the fact that it tells you the value of a donation.

Birdies for Breast Cancer Donation Page Image

Go to http://www.birdiesforbreastcancer.org and click on Make a Donation button

Or you can put some “skin in the game” and have fun by making a pledge to your favorite player (and their team) participating in the golf event.  It is easy to do on the Make a Pledge Page of the website (image below).

Birdies for Breast Cancer Website Pledge Page Image

Go to http://www.birdiesforbreastcancer.org and click on the Make a Pledge button

As you can see from the pledge page, you have a few choices to make.  First, which player do you want to cheer for in the event?  The host Christie Kerr or one of the wonderful other stars of the LPGA that have generously given their time to support this cause.  The second decision is how much money you want to donate for each birdie the selected “player team” makes during the event.  The website does state that “Historically, the teams average about 10 birdies during the tournament” — so that gives you a gauge to base the total amount you might was to donate but you do need to put a “per birdie” commitment ($10, $20, etc.) in the box next to the team name.  I’m sure whatever you donate is appreciated.  Although I don’t think it is needed, they provide an “incentive” to sponsor a team.  If your team wins you will get “autographed memorabilia from the tournament.”

On a personal note, my mother had breast cancer and was cancer free for five years but then got a different women’s cancer and left us too soon.  I’ve always been a fan of Cristie Kerr and it’s nice to see that she supports women’s health.

DISCLAIMER: I have no association with the charity or Cristie Kerr.  This is just my view of golf and charity!

Donate “Bogey Tees Off” to your local library

Bogey Tees Off Book Cover

Go to scooterpines.com to learn more about Bogey Tees Off

Bogey Tees Off is a wonderful golf book for any child.  If you are like me, and do not have children of your own, I encourage you to buy the book and donate it to your local library.  I did and here is my story on how I came to love Bogey Ballton, a range ball who wants to play on tour.

Dottie Pepper, co-author of “Bogey Tees Off,” was giving an interview and her joy for her book was infectious.  Pepper spoke about “the lesson about being truthful” as a theme, the glossary of golf terms, and the autograph signature space at the back of the book.

She also spoke about her co-author and creator of Bogey Ballton, Scott Fuller and the wonderful illustrations by Kenneth Templeton.  Finally, I was impressed that a percentage of the book sales went to charities; including junior golf initiatives.  I had a fleeting thought to buy the book but felt it would be silly for me to buy the book since I could not think of any young child to give it to as a gift.

After the interview, I tweeted Dottie Pepper to give her kudos for the interview.

Image of Twitter Conversation with Dottie Pepper

Twitter Conversation with Dottie Pepper

The Tweet from Dottie Pepper was enough encouragement for me to do a search online for the book.  You can buy it at the major online book sites but I wanted to learn a bit more about the book so I went to the official website.  I decided to buy the hardcover book motivated by the fact I was supporting junior golf.

The book arrived and I took a few minutes to read it.  To my surprise, I really enjoyed the story.  The true sign of a good book from me is I want to know what happens next and that’s how I felt after reading “Bogey Tees Off.”  So I am hooked and will be watching for the release of volume 2 of the Bogey Ballton series.

I really wish my nieces were younger so I could give the book to them.  However, I refuse to be one of those Aunts that gives a gift that is based on my likes and not their interests.  My nieces are at the stage in life where music, movies, clothes, and boys are more interesting than golf  — which is just fine with me.

Later that day I was online reserving a book from my library and it hit me.  Maybe the local library takes book donations.  I searched the online book catalog for “Bogey Tees Off” and it was not listed.  So I took the book to my library, walked into the children’s room (which I had never been in), and spoke to the children’s librarian.

The librarian was a bit skeptical because she looked in her “purchasing system” and did not see the book.  I explained that Dottie Pepper was a famous golfer and this was her first children’s book, etc.  The librarian said she would need to read the book and get back to me as to whether or not she would be able to add it to the collection.  At first I was surprised (maybe a tad offended) that my book donation was in question.  But then I realized she had a responsibility to provide quality books to the children of our town.

After a number of weeks I was beginning to wonder if I would ever hear from the Librarian.  Finally, the call came and the news was wonderful.  The librarian said “This is a book I definitely want to add to the children’s collection.  Thank you for thinking of us.”  I felt so happy that she liked the book and it was now going to be available for kids in my town to read.  The librarian also reminded me that my town is a member of a network that includes a consortium of 42 libraries and anyone can reserve the book online.

This is a simple story about one small act to donate a book to a library but it also is one small step in helping expose a new generation to a great sport.  You never know who you will impact with a “small act of kindness” but it feels great to do something, even if it seems minor in the scoop of bigger charitable activities you do in life.

Take action and donate “Bogey Tees Off” to your local library. Who knows, maybe some child that reads the book you donated will decide to play golf and even go “on tour” one day.

What Does the Natalie Gulbis Swimsuit Photo have to do with Charity?

The Bleacher Report is “the US’s 4th largest sports media site with 25+ million monthly readers,” and they reported that the release of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit photo of Natalie Gulbis was timed perfectly for a charity that is auctioning a chance to caddy for Gulbis in an upcoming LPGA event.

So I went to the site for the charity and to my surprise it is not some big foundation but an Episcopal School in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Not only do they have Natalie Gulbis but they also have the chance to be a caddy for David Love III as an auction item. You can bid on them or “pay now” for one of them for $8,000.

What a windfall from a PR perspective for the Charity. Now, you might think it makes sense that Davis Love is listed because he lives in Charlotte and went to the University of North Carolina (in Charlotte) but how did they get Gulbis?  She did not go to school in North Carolina and she lives in Arizona. I was hoping it was just plain luck on the part of the charity but my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted see if I could find the connection.

Well according to another article I found at Golf Channel, “A parent who works in sports marketing for consulting firm McGladrey helped secure the caddy spots.”  And, surprise, surprise, both golfers are clients of McGladrey.  Also according to the Golf Channel Article, the head of the school said they did not know that the SI swimsuit edition was coming out.  Really?  The parent who works for McGladrey surely knew when their client’s swimsuit press would be released.

Whether or not the school was aware of the PR windfall they were about to get this week is probably not that important; but it is clearly not as big a “coincidence” as the original article in the Bleacher Report implied.  That makes me a little bit sad because it would have been fun if it were just luck. Wouldn’t it have been great if Gulbis was just a person supporting a charity she liked (i.e. no sports marketing connections).  Maybe that makes me a bit of an idealist but it would have been a better “story.”

I guess the only other outstanding question is will someone pay $8,000 to spend 4 or 5 hours to caddy for Gulbis?  We will most likely find out after February 25 (the night of the charity event) — I’m sure the folks at McGladrey are already working on the press release.

Eagles for Education

This week I want to highlight another interesting charity that is tied to the performance of the golfers during a tournament, Eagles for Education.

Chevron Corporation introduced Eagles for Education last year at the tournament they sponsor in December.  The donation amount increased each day and on the final day of the tournament an eagle was worth $100,000.  According to Chevron’s State of Energy Newsletter, “A total of 13 eagles and one double eagle were scored, resulting in an additional $530,000 for the nonprofit partners.”

Chevron has continued this charitable program in 2012 and this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm, 46 eagles were recorded.  The donation amount per eagle was not as significant as it was at Chevron’s event last December but it still generated a great deal of money. The per eagle donation was $8,000 for a total of $184,000.

The next stop on the tour is the Northern Trust Open and according to their website Chevron is bringing Eagles for Education to the Northern Trust Open and donating $2,500 for every eagle recorded during the tournament.

The other interesting event that Chevron ties to their participation at the tournaments is a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Zone to educate youth. At the tournament they will have a demonstration on some type of science or technology based on golf to make it fun.  For example, the flight of a golf ball which is demonstrated in this Chevron World Challenge video.

If you want to see a more in-depth discussion of the program watch the Golf Channel’s Video on the Chevron STEM Program.

Waste Management’s Unique Donation

The sponsor for the Phoenix Open is the Waste Management company.  Most of us know them because we see the logo on the garbage truck that picks up our trash.  They are taking their logo and making it part of a unique donation to the The First Tee — a non-profit organization that uses golf to educate youth and promote life-values like integrity and respect.

Waste Management has taken its logo (the WM) and made a 120 foot high, eight-ton logo floating in the lake on the 18th hole.  It is made up of 140,000 recycled golf balls collected from water hazards on golf courses.  If that is not unique enough for you, the golf balls will be donated to The First Tee of Arizona to be used in their golf programs.

This is just one of many recycling initiatives implemented by Waste Management at the Phoenix Open. Below is a video highlighting the Zero Waste Challenge.  Watch the video and at the one minute mark you will see the floating logo.