2:59 PM, Wednesday, March 12th, 2014:
I was starting to think this day would never come. After the Vice guy totally blew off writing the piece and charities ignored the "guy with a minigolf course in his backyard" because it sounds about as crazy as a guy with a minigolf course in his back yard... I thought I would have no way to pull this off without actually attempting to make my own charity. An absolute last resort and now something I won't have to do. I should probably explain that...
It's not that I have anything against those that start charities, but "non-profits" scream SCAM to me. Even when people are legitimately trying to do good, the money always seems to get mismanaged - the whole concept of a "portion of the proceeds" irks people (even though it's totally fair)... I just want to avoid that all together. However in avoiding that? I need a TON of things to come together and one depends on the other. Here's how this should work.
1) I build an actual "tour" of players. We have a website, a points system for an entire year. Majors, match-play events - a straight-up LEAGUE. Not only does that require work, but it requires OTHER PEOPLE to believe in that and want to come and compete. For basically nothing but bragging rights. Now, what I once thought was a detriment, me winning, has ended up being the only thing that has kept people coming back. They have no reason to care about the points (yet), they just want to beat me. So we have that group and a 6 event history behind us with data, points, etc. CHECK.
2) I have to make videos of each event that are eventually followed like a web series. I have somewhat done that, but they've been stand-alone videos as each event has gotten bigger and hell at the first one I didn't even take video except on a cell-phone. The idea of the video is to give the eventual sponsors life after the actual event. I mean, there's only so many people I can fit (or would want to try to fit) in my backyard - so there has to be a viral aspect to the videos so the businesses get exposure. Of course that needs more people to come, etc. We're there now, so CHECK.
3) Then I needed a charity or a business that gives to a charity that would be willing to be involved. This is where the project has stalled for nearly a year. Charities ignore me and a business won't sign on without any charities... so I tried to go the media route, but as I mentioned at the top Vice was the only place that showed interest and he didn't write the piece because he said my video covered everything. <FACEPALM> I build the network for all this to work and yet I'm completely stuck. If only I knew people AT charities, or a business owner that would understand...
A man I've known since 2001 when he joined my freaking NBA Fantasy league became a lifelong online friend, so much so that I flew him out to film our wedding in 2011 even though we had never met. Well, on Christmas Day while Talya gave birth to Cameron, Andrew opened his very own Movie theater in Houston (4 theaters to be exact) and has been doing incredibly ever since. It was always a dream of his, and truth be told? That would be a dream of mine. Who doesn't love the movies? And we're both big tech-geeks with him teaching me much of what I know about cameras/projectors, etc. So happy for his success and love reading his updates as they pass milestones.
A couple months ago he let me know he was gonna be in town to look at some theaters and asked if he could stop by to see the course and my kidlets and lo and behold, it was March 29th, the day of the next event. So pumped he could see an event and then the next day it occurred to me that this just might be the way to make the GolfKon charity events work. I called him back and asked if he had any charities he donated to and he said there were a few he was thinking of. So we decided if HE called AS the business, it would fare better. They all replied:  "whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?" (Sigh) Seriously people, we're trying to GIVE YOU MONEY. Like, no strings, just HERE IS MONEY. What the serious hell already. Then he found that a family-member just accepted a position at a charity and VOILA! WE HAVE MADE A CONNECTION! So the March 29th Golfkon "March-Madness Match-Play" Event will be sponsored by:
With every single penny going to a division of:
The division is called "House of Tiny Treasures" which provides early childhood education to homeless kids.
You may ask, what exactly is the Cinema sponsoring if ALLLLLLLLLLL of the money goes to the charity? Truth be told, I'm actually sponsoring it and instead of the business sponsor giving ME anything, I'm asking that they give it all to charity and reap the exposure benefits. It's the only way I know to do this with FULL accountability. It also keeps it free to all the competitors. I really don't want to charge ANYthing. I want all the food eventually donated as well as prizes for winners, etc. but the idea is that we can all give to the charity, simply by our presence. By showing up for these events and spreading the word - you help the video, which in turn helps the business sponsor, which in turn helps the charity. It's as close to a win-win as you can get and no one has to wonder where the money is going. We're all giving our time to make something work. So this is indeed a great day. Couldn't be more pumped for the event on the 29th, which actually, I'm not sure I ever announced on The Journey. For the points system I needed one more Match-Play event (half the points of a Major) so I split the time difference between the Superbowl and Memorial Days and made up:
Just like the Halloween Match-Play Event where the Top 8 qualify and play in a sudden-death bracket except for one wrinkle: tie-breakers come down to free-throws. DAHHHHHHH. Should be a good time.
So, since this is our very first sponsor, I figured they deserved their own entry video...
So excited. Just spoke with Andrew and he agreed to sponsor...
Giving $2 for every BIRDIE and $10 for every EAGLE!!!!
That could be upwards to $500 depending on the turnout! Was not expecting that much. Thank you so much man. Of course you know what that means, right? People who decide not to come are literally taking money from homeless children. Yeah. Sleep on THAT people.
Seriously though, thank you for your generosity and players? 12-5pm is qualifying. That's a LOT of time to rack up the birdies and eagles and donate a ton to a charity without having to dig into your own pocket. This is working out quite well...
...and believe it or not, it's about to get even cooler with a meeting next week. Cannot wait to share it with you.