Most of us contribute to charities, school fundraisers, community projects and our churches on a regular basis. “Giving back” is part of our culture; but, every once in a while, an opportunity for “hands on help” presents itself.

Me, Jorj (second from the right) with Coach Smith and trio of new Vance High School Golfers!

Last week, while infusing my early morning coffee, I watched a story on Vance High School’s coach trying to start up a girls’ golf team—the first all-girl golf team this Charlotte, North Carolina school has ever known! The girls (five of them) were present and willing, but the budget was sorely lacking. The coach made an appeal for used golf equipment, “clubs, bags, balls tees, shoes… anything.”

Ding, ding, ding! If there is one thing a mountain top golf community has it is extra clubs – but how to get the word out? It takes a village they say. Well, I say it takes a Network, a “Nana Network” to be exact. I knew I could find dozens of fellow grandparents on my Ladies Golf Association email list that would be happy to help these young ladies. The LGA list is normally used to communicate upcoming tournaments and results, but within a few minutes, the call went out for donations, and—just as I knew it would—help came pouring in!

Within 24 hours I had a garage full of equipment for the girls. Within 48 hours we had met their needs and more. Within 72 hours the cash started rolling in, and by day four I was packing up my car and driving to meet the coach.

Bound for Vance High School!

Bound for Vance High School!

It is heartwarming to know how much everyone wanted to help. It is about golf, a sport that teaches patience and etiquette, as well as team camaraderie.  But, it is also about helping a girl have a chance to learn a sport that may open a door for her later on in life.  One of the team members that I met told me that she had never swung a golf club, but she has watched a lot of golf on TV.

Now she has a chance to experience in life what she could only watch others perform.

If you are moved like I was to pay it forward and help get this cool new golf team off the ground, it is not too late!! The high school is selling T-shirts now through September 1, 2014. For $20 you can get a T that says “Vance Golf” on the front and features a list of generous sponsors (like you!) on the back. Make your check payable to “Vance Athletic Booster Club (Golf)” and address the envelope as follows:

c/o Jerry Smith / Golf Coach
Vance High School
7600 IBM Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262

As for me and my loyal band of gal pals, who like golfing almost as much as we like gnoshing, we will continue to follow the Vance High School Girls’ Golf Team and maybe, just maybe by the end of the season, they can visit our Nana Network, and give us a golf tip or two!