Monday, April 12, 2010
Caddy for a Cure
So what is all the excitement about? How about having the opportunity to go inside the ropes, side-by-side, with some of the world’s best players on the world’s best and most famous courses, during official PGA TOUR events? How about having the opportunity to personally ask the reigning Masters champion, Zach Johnson, why he chose specific clubs for specific shots to win? Or the Open Championship winner, Padraig Harrington, what it was like to be the first European player to win the Open Championship since 1999? Or to basically ask any question you can think of from your favorite player while helping him prepare for PGA TOUR tournament competition? Caddy For A Cure offers just that opportunity and more. You actually get to “caddie” for a day for one of the world’s best on the PGA TOUR.
Caddy For A Cure was a solution conceived by program founder and PGA TOUR caddie, Russ Holden, to utilize the popularity and appeal of his profession to help reduce, and ultimately eliminate, the difficulties, pain and too frequent heartbreaks that face the families and children afflicted by Fanconi anemia. Fanconi anemia is the most frequently reported of anemias most always leading to bone marrow failure and various malignant cancers. Russ gained first-hand experience with Fanconi anemia 15 years ago through the birth of Christian Collins, the son of family-like friends of Russ’s. They subsequently had a second son who was also afflicted with Fanconi and Russ’s mission to find answers to this disease, as well as other fatal childhood diseases, burned within him. Caddy for a Cure was subsequently incorporated and secured its 501(c)(3) non-profit status, launching the program with the 2004 PGA TOUR season. In 2007, Fanconi anemia patient 14-year old Christian Collins became the National Fanconi Anemia Caddy for a Cure spokesperson.
The Caddy For A Cure program works through online auctions on eBay. The public bids for an opportunity to caddie during the official practice round of a PGA TOUR tournament and for the privilege of being side-by-side, inside the ropes on the range, putting greens and golf course with the world’s best PGA TOUR players. Caddies watch their player’s practice routines and shot-making skills, first-hand, without needing to share their player’s time with other amateurs or worrying about their own golf performance. The amount of one-on-one time with the players is unparalleled and an ultimate sports experience.
So how do the players feel about Caddy For A Cure? Recently at the TOUR Championship in Atlanta, GA, Caddy for a Cure National Spokesperson, Christian Collins, had the opportunity to meet some of the world's best players. In an act of kindness that epitomizes the attitudes of many of the Caddy for a Cure PGA TOUR players, world great Jim Furyk went above and beyond the call of duty by personally introducing Christian to the soon-to-be FEDEX Cup Champion, Tiger Woods. Although Tiger was deep in his infamous practice regimen at the famed East Lake Golf Club, he immediately stopped to not only give Christian a golf ball, but to sign his hat and chat with him for a few minutes. Clearly, Tiger showed how he is not only the best golfer in the world, but how he shares the heart of so many of the PGA TOUR players of helping others and “giving back” from this awesome sport.
All proceeds generated from the Caddy For A Cure auctions are donated to charities. The proceeds from each event are split equally four ways: 20% to the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund; 20% to the Wounded Warrior Project; 20% to the PGA TOUR Host Tournament charity; 20% to the PGA TOUR Player charity; and 20% to the PGA TOUR Caddie Benevolent Fund. This unique distribution of proceeds has allowed Caddy For A Cure to generate funds for donations to multiple organizations, including The American Cancer Society, The ALS Association, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Gilda’s Club, The Boys and Girls Club, A Hand of Hope, Cook Children’s Medical Center, St. Jude’s Medical Center, Hilton Head Heroes, the Tiger Woods Foundation and many other nationally recognized organizations geared toward providing a solutions to educational, social, and basic human needs conditions.
As plans are underway for the 2010 PGA TOUR season, Caddy For A Cure is busy lining up fan favorites for participation across the country. Expect to see the return of veteran Caddy For A Cure players like Boo Weekley, Phil Mickelson, Anthony Kim, Aaron Baddeley, Chad Campbell, K.J. Choi, Stewart Cink, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, Charley Hoffman, Charles Howell III, Jerry Kelly, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III, Sean Micheel, Sean O’Hair, John Rollins, Rory Sabbatini, Adam Scott, Vijay Singh, Camilo Villegas and others, as well as several new exciting and world renowned players.
Caddy for a Cure operates from its corporate office in Coral Springs, FL and is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors and Advisory Board of members from various professions and backgrounds. Russ and his wife, Colleen Holden, serve as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer, respectively, and are actively involved in all aspects of the business.
Although caddy participation in the Caddy for a Cure program is the most exciting way to be involved, as with any charity or cause, there are other ways to be involved, too. Specifically, these options are available:
1. Volunteer for Caddy for a Cure events or fund drives. Call 954-341-4600 for more information about when and how.
2. Keep them in mind - Refer a business associate, friend or client to www.caddyforacure.com for participation or support.
3. Pass On the Word - Subscribe to the Caddy for a Cure Newsletter and then forward it to your friends.
4. Purchase a DriveHard golf wristband in support of Caddy for a Cure (www.drivehard.org).
5. Make Them a Favorite Site - Keep www.caddyforacure.com in your favorites for websites.
6. Show your interest and support - Purchase a Caddy for a Cure logo’d shirt or hat and spread the word.
To find out more about the Caddy For A Cure program, including participating PGA TOUR players and upcoming events, go to www.caddyforacure.com or call 954-341-4600.