What We Hope to Accomplish
What we hope to accomplish is to build on what we did last November when we had the first tournament. When we did the first event it was a very different time. We started barely 45 days after the bombing and we finished the event at the end of November in less than 90 days. Ground Zero may not even had been named yet. The fires beneath the rubble were still burning. The list of casualties was still growing. There were estimates still much higher than the unbelievable high number of actual dead, over 3,000 victims. The city was an entire memorial. Every fire station was its own shrine, with civilians leaving flowers constantly. Afghanistan was still in the future. The fears were very fresh. We had just had another plane ironically fall out of the skies over the homes of our police and firefighters who had survived the first attack ….unbelievable stuff.
One ray of light was how generous the public had been. The American people opened up their hearts and they also opened up their pocket books and gave and gave. Over a billion and a half dollars were donated on behalf of the victims and their families. This was the back drop of the times. Pain, sorrow, depression, fear (not knowing if they where going to strike again) and for a while, the biggest betrayal of all was taking shape. That the one and only thing we as ordinary people had done and could do to show our love, sorrow and support for the victims and their families was the money we had donated. As time passed, it was becoming clearer that the money was going to be kept and used by the large charitable organizations to further their own agendas and in their own time frame. This prospect was just unbelievable and unacceptable. It was adding insult to a horrible injury.
A small group of us wanted to do something, perhaps naïve, but something. First, we wanted to raise money and give it directly to a victim’s family and second, to show others that if we could do it, so can anyone else. Those were our goals . . . very simple. We laid out a plan and we went for it. For the most part it was a successful. We tried to get media attention, some governmental involvement and support but weren’t able to do much in that department. But we actually did accomplish what we set out to do, which was to raise and give money directly to a family. Something which all the large charities were having such a hard time doing. After the tournament was over and the ceremony was concluded, several people came to us and suggested we make this an annual event. So, that’s what we are trying to do. Create an annual Golf Tournament to raise some money, awareness and connection to Sept 11 and all that it represents. We need your support, participation and ideas.
Thank You for your help,
Sept 11 Memorial Golf Tournament
What We DID Accomplish
We did another tournament. We netted $6,200.00. We came up with the idea that maybe kids would like to take part in what we were doing. We contacted the Hawthorne School District and one of their classes took part in the event. We also contacted the Girl Scouts and two of their troops also took part in the event. So, we established that people do like what we are doing and want to take part. The thought behind incorporating the kids is straightforward. We believed involving the children would give them a chance to have influence and, at the same time, to increase their awareness of September 11. It would also allow them to learn how we can help one another, and the personal satisfaction that comes from being of service–especially, at this point in our History. Theses are extraordinary times and we do have to pay attention. Finally, to involve the kids meant that we could tap into their amazing wealth of original ideas. Kids have a lot to teach us.
We also made new friends–The United Warrior Survivors Foundation. This is a group whose purpose is to help the surviving spouses and children of the Special Operations guys who currently are in the thick of things. Special Ops are our very best. These guys do the unbelievable and often pay the ultimate price. We send these young men out to protect us and they represent the best of what the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave sends forward. But, when they are killed in action, as they often are, they leave young wives and children behind, just like the brave Police and Firefighters of New York did. Are they not Heroes who go half way around the world to do our bidding? Is he not a hero who gets blown off a helicopter by a rocket grenade onto a dark and cold mountain surrounded by the enemy, and only after running out of ammunition is killed and dies alone. Is he not a Hero? We are very proud to help UWSF and wish them much luck in their efforts.
We have much to learn, but we seem to be moving in the right direction. The day of our tournament an official of the City of Bell Gardens happened to have been at the golf course and saw our banner of the Victims’ names and asked us to borrow it for an event they were having the next day. We agreed, and as a result, more people were able to see our efforts. He was very appreciative, and we made another friend who, by the way, will be playing next time. That’s how this thing works.
In closing, we are going forward with our tournament and our efforts to contribute to September 11th related causes. We are constantly learning many different things. We know, for example, that we better not let the tournament itself be overshadowed by the reason “why” we are doing it. Eventually, no one will play unless the tournament itself gets better every year. In other words, we need to put on a good show, and keep making it fun. That’s what makes people want to come back and play. One of our other goals continues to be to show others what can be done by a motivated few. That’s why we wanted to get media exposure. Unfortunately, once again, there was not much in that department.
But, here is what we have accomplished so far: two Golf tournaments before the one year anniversary of Sept 11; and combined, we have a net of $16,200.00. We have made five separate donations: Cheryl McDonnell and her two boys, $7,500.00; Windows of Hope, $2,500.00; Save the Children, $1,000.00; another $1,000.00 to be donated through the Girl Scouts; and lastly, $4,200.00 to the United Warrior Survivor Foundation. And yes, the list of people getting involved continues to grow. That’s not bad for a few people that just wanted to play a little Golf… That’s a wrap.
Thanks for all your help and support