Folds of Honor has a great deal of supporters in North Carolina. Yet, to ensure all funds raised in state remained in state, there was a requirement to have an official chapter located in state. This led Rick Lee and a group of supporters to form the first North Carolina Chapter.
The cause is a worthwhile one: To provide educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members and, as of 2022, First Responders.
“We tried a few fundraising efforts but finally settled on doing a fundraising golf event,” Rick said.
North Carolina is a market with many established charity golf events so Rick and his team had to think outside the box.
“We realized that we had to be different to stand out from all the other events in the area”, said Rick. “So, we reached out to Perfect Golf Event to brainstorm some ideas to attract player and sponsors.”
They could now feature 18 hole in one contests supported by sponsors. Every hole offered a prize valued at $10,000. Secondly, they could play 6-person teams instead of 4-person teams allowing for more player interaction and networking. Finally, this format improved the pace of play with the round completed in under 4 hours.
The result was to offer a completely different format than the standard 4-person scramble (a format that often leads to five or six hours of slow play on the course). The idea was to convert Prestonwood County Club to a Par 3 course. Why not move up the tee boxes on every hole so each hole is a Par 3? This opened up some exciting opportunities.
“I remember at our first committee meeting we worried about meeting our expenses and raising any money”, said Rick. “But we took a chance and actually raised $45,000 our first year.”
“The feedback from our first event was 99% positive and we continue to grow. Last year, we raised a net of over $160,000 for Folds of Honor.”
Rick and his committee continue to add innovative contests and activities to build momentum. Last year, they auctioned off a tandem parachute jump and the winning bidder is jumping onto the first tee before the 2023 event.
In the first year, every team had a chance to take a shot for a $250,000 cash prize. In 2023, every team will take a shot for a $600,000 cash prize! The event has sold out every year since 2020 and has raised almost $500,000 for Folds of Honor North Carolina.
Rick emphasized, “the key to success is improving the quality of the event each year, the experience for both players and sponsors.”
To see details on the Folds of Honor North Carolina chapter’s event, visit fohncgolf.com.