On September 11, 2018, Charleys Kids hosted its first official Golf Scramble with Charley's and Bibibop vendors traveling from across the country. The entire day went better than we could have ever planned for (must've been the good company!). It was a little wet (after 72 hours of rain) but, like good troopers, we loaded our golf carts and headed towards the course. NorthStar Golf Club had a breathtaking, lush course.
In total, we had 46 golfers and 21 sponsors, including main sponsorships from Sun Orchard, Coca Cola, The Multi-Unit Group, Tapia Brothers, EPI Breads, K&K, Huhtamaki and Red Gold. I'll speak for the entire Charleys Kids team when I say that we were blown away by the genuine curiosity and goodwill of each individual attending. It was wonderful to connect over how to serve the kids in our communities to laughing about good food to reminiscing on our respective companies long and loyal partnerships.
Together, we raised $25,000 to be donated to Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries. SON is an ESL family program and summer lunch program based in Hilliard, Ohio and a program partner of Charleys Kids. Upon learning about SON and the poverty in our very suburbs (some kids go home to an empty refrigerator!), I had to visit the program. I met parents from all over the world- Mexico, Iraq, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, Venezuela- and immediately fell in love with the community. What a special place for men and women to gather together, learn English, break bread, and build community. Can you imagine sitting in a classroom with a woman who has never had the opportunity to attend school and is now learning how to hold a pencil properly and pen numbers for the first time? Or being around mothers who've finally found a community to voice both concerns and curiosities of navigating their first-generation American teenage girls? While the adults are learning English on the second floor, the kids are downstairs running around the gym with friends, receiving homework help, and bonding with staff (or their informal mentors and friends). And furthermore, teenagers who've gone through SON's program as a child and teenagers raised in the US get to volunteer side-by-side and give back to their communities.
I had the opportunity to introduce SON Founder Kim Emch and share this incredible program with a team of vendors committed to casting Charleys Kids vision. Needless to say, they were deeply moved by the program and asked "What can we do to help? How can we support SON?" For two years, we explored different ideas, until finally, we decided, golf. And this is just the beginning of a wonderful tradition. Together, we're all making a difference in the lives of children. Thank you for all of your support.