As I was driving to work one morning, I was doing what I usually do -- listening to Radio Margaritaville. On this particular morning, they were replaying a past concert of Jimmy Buffett's from the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu, Hawaii. As Jimmy was introducing one of his songs (a new one at the time), he referenced a quote from Mark Twain, as he often does in his shows, while he discussed the subject matter of the new song. "Write what you know," said Twain. Anybody like me who considers themselves a Parrot Head knows that Buffett does exactly that! When I heard that quote it made me think that I have not written a new blog post in quite some time. However, if I follow Twain's advice it will be a very short post! Rather than stop reading now, please humor me as I continue to tell you a story about something I know for certain.
During one of our junior golf clinics at Ranken Jordan about a month ago, Janine Roe, community programs director at Ranken Jordan, and I were discussing expanding our junior golf program. With Ranken Jordan's expansion, we have many more children who can benefit from using golf as a healing tool while they are in the hospital. The group of children she wanted to get more involved with the golf program are the kids ages 3, 4 and 5. As we talked about it, we quickly realized that to do this we would need to add some new equipment. Many of you likely have heard me say that over the nearly eight years of junior golf at Ranken Jordan, the hospital has not had to spend a penny to pay for the equipment the children use. While Janine and I were talking about the new equipment we would need, one of my first thoughts was how can I get this equipment donated? Now comes the part where I do as Twain said and write what I know.
Social media is a very effective and efficient way to reach many people in a short period of time. With that in mind, I decided to post on Facebook and LinkedIn to see if I could raise at least a portion of the funds we needed for this new equipment. Approximately two minutes after posting on those sites, I was reminded how amazing my friends, family and colleagues are. My phone immediately started blowing up as I was inundated with messages, texts, e-mails and phone calls asking how people could get involved and help. As I mentioned earlier, I was hoping to raise a portion of the funds needed to purchase the new equipment and be able to pay for the rest by selling a couple of golf lesson packages for Christmas. Not only did I not need to sell the golf lesson packages to cover the balance, but we raised nearly triple the amount needed for the initial order! This allowed us to order even more equipment for the youngest children and buy more U.S. Kids Golf clubs for our older junior golfers! One hundred percent of what was donated will be used to give the medically complex children at Ranken Jordan the opportunity to heal in a fun way while they learn the game of a lifetime.
Back to Mark Twain's quote and what I know is this: I am very fortunate to be surrounded by incredibly kind, generous and giving people. Saying "thank you" is utterly insufficient when trying to adequately convey my appreciation for what each of you provided for the kids at Ranken Jordan. I look forward to the new equipment arriving and seeing how much fun the kids have as they heal through golf! Continue to watch posts on this blog, my Facebook page, Twitter (@kevincornPGA), and LinkedIn, to see pictures of the kids having fun with the new equipment and opportunities you provided for them! Should anyone want to visit Ranken Jordan, see our golf program first-hand, tour the facility and get on Ranken Jordan National Golf Links, please reach out to me! Again, thank you so very much for your generous support, generosity, and encouragement, for the kids. My very best wishes to you and your families for a Merry Christmas, happy holiday season, and a healthy and happy New Year.
To view more of Kevin’s inspiring stories, visit http://rankenjordangolf.blogspot.com.