Knees bent, back straight, head down, left arm straight, eye on the ball, and feet shoulder-width apart. I prepared to bring the club back in a smooth controlled fashion and then, ”AGHHHH!”
After baking in the sun for hours, my burnt complexion managed to mask any embarrassment as I approached the podium.
“This is quite an honor,” I said to the packed room upon receiving my award at the Westfields Golf Clubhouse located in Clinton, VA.
The trophy ceremony at the Fifth Annual iFaith Golf Competition had previously awarded golfers for actually winning the tournament or for longest drive and longest putt. What was my crowning achievement? Complete and utter futility. I received the “Last Place Champ” trophy.
Years of growing up swinging irons on Florida’s golf courses simply weren’t enough to prepare me to compete in Lou Phillips’ Annual iFaith Golf Competition benefiting the Capital Area Food Bank. Luckily, golf wasn’t the purpose of my visit. Sure, I got out on the links, but my purpose was to educate participants about the alarming rate of hunger in the Washington metro region and what the CAFB is doing to solve it.
There are nearly 700,000 children, families and seniors at risk of hunger in the food bank’s service area. In Fairfax County alone, where the iFaith Golf Competition took place, 76,000 people are struggling with hunger; more than 30,000 of those are children. Thanks to the support of the community and food assistance partners, the CAFB managed to provide 45 million pounds of food – equivalent to 37.5 million meals – to nearly 500,000 people last year.
Although many participants heard the startling hunger facts for the first time, event organizer Lou Phillips has heard it all before. Phillips is committed to leveraging his relationships with faith-based communities and networks to help reduce hunger across the country; and for the past five years, he has rallied these groups together in a fun outing that supports the CAFB’s mission.
With support from Safeway, this year’s iFaith Golf Competition raised over $6,000 through ticket sales and auction bids. To date, Phillips has raised an impressive $20,000 for the food bank. Funds from the tournament come at a critical time during summer when donations are traditionally slow.
Although the CAFB participates in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which feeds children when they don’t have access to free and reduced school meals, there are still many families that don’t have regular access to nutritious meals. Events such as the iFaith Golf Competition helps ensure that everyone can sit down to three, nutritious meals daily year-round.
The Capital Area Food Bank and I personally appreciate the support of Lou Phillips, Safeway and all those helping to feed our neighbors in need.