Golfing 100 holes for a good cause
When Augie Valencia heard about the Creek Fire and the possibility of his friends and community members in trouble, he jumped at a chance to help in anyway he could.
Already an avid golfer, golfing two to three times a week, Valencia combined philanthropy with his love for the game into an opportunity to offer a helping hand to those in need, raising over $3,200 for the American Red Cross.
“I grew up in North Fork and I knew a lot of friends that could’ve been affected by the Creek Fire, although North Fork wasn’t as impacted as Big Creek, Shaver Lake, Huntington and those areas. My thoughts were I’m going to get some stuff up to Sierra High School,” Valencia said. “I got up to the four lane, Highway 168, and I was stopped and couldn’t go any further. A representative from the Red Cross let me know that if I wanted to do anything, donating money would be the easiest way.”
Valencia decided raising funds on the golf course would be a good idea to give back and meet his goal.
“I came back home after being turned away and I realized my donation was going to be kind of minimal,” Valencia said.
Valencia got in contact with Madera Golf and Country Club where he is a member and was allowed to play on a Monday morning, which is a day that the club has the course closed. Valencia had it all to himself.
Valencia had to secure the permission from the club’s board. Valencia planned to play 100 holes in a single day for pledges. Whether it was $5, $10 or even $100, Valencia was determined to raise whatever funds he could. The funds would be donated to the American Red Cross on behalf of Madera Golf and Country Club.
While Valencia completed the event on Oct. 5, those who lost their belongings in the Creek Fire and across the nation that are in need this holiday season, Valencia’s efforts will help someone who needs it.
“To me, this was the best way to contribute to the American Red Cross in general,” Valencia said.
Valencia started his day just after 7 a.m. and ended close to 5 p.m. that day. His efforts included finishing every hole, including every putt. Valencia did not pick up a single ball throughout the day.
It took a total of 10 hours as Valencia averaged 10 holes an hour. Without anyone on the course except the grounds crew, Valencia faced a slight obstacle — the sprinklers.
“That was probably the only thing I had to deal with,” Valencia said. “They run the sprinklers pretty heavy on Mondays so, that was the only thing. The experience itself was very fun. I had my lunch with me and my snack in between 36 holes.”
Valencia could have done more holes that day, but he had only asked pledges for 100 holes. His goal was $800 to $1,000 for the afternoon, but exceeded that as he pulled in almost $3,500 in donations.
“Some of the community members and friends at the golf course pledged a $1 a hole or just a simple figure to chip in for the cause and after 100 holes, it turns out to be a good donation, so it was a good thing and I’m glad it turned out better than expected,” Valencia said.