When we first started our charity golf tournament, the idea originated from the suggestion of several customers.
Tulsa manager Rod Ratliff regularly played golf with several customers. After talking about the idea with them, he decided to host a charity golf tournament with our customers and partners.
Rod thought this would be in line with our business as mission philosophy while offering an opportunity to our customers to give back locally.
“They hear about all the things we do as a company; they don’t actually get to participate first hand with it,” observed Rod, “When it’s more on micro-level, these guys can say, ‘Hey look! I was a part of that.”
Eight tournaments later, we’ve given back to several local organizations in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa area.
This year’s tournament beneficiary was the Ronald McDonald House, a place that offered incredible support to one of our customers, Jeremy Jackson.
Giving back to our customers
Spending the first four months in a hospital after your son is born is not something that most new parents anticipate will happen. It’s also certainly not something that most people save money for.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do for four months. There’s no chance we could’ve afforded a hotel or somewhere to stay,” recalled Jeremy, who was in this situation last year.
Jeremy and his wife Vanessa’s twin boys were born at 35 weeks in August 2017. Cooper spent one week in the NICU, while Dax had more severe heart problems that led to 3 surgeries and 4 months in the hospital.
“[The Ronald McDonald House] offered us a place to stay where we could just walk through the hallway 24 hours a day, go to the room and see Dax,” explained Jeremy.
Jeremy and Vanessa, along with Cooper and their daughter, spent four months at the Ronald McDonald House in Oklahoma City while Dax was in intensive care at OU Children’s Hospital.
At the Ronald McDonald House, Jeremy’s family of four were given meals, a place to sleep, and a supportive community that encouraged them. The volunteers and staff took on much of the day-to-day stress so that the Jacksons could focus on their baby.
While there, they met Beau Moore, who also participated in the tournament. His son was Dax’s first roommate with similar heart and organ issues. The families soon became friends and confidantes during their stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
“I didn’t know him from anybody, and we’ve just developed this bond,” remarked Jeremy.
During Dax’s hospital stay, Rod supported Jeremy, asking him for updates and encouraging him through this hard time.
“He was very in tune with what was going on with us; he asked a lot of questions during that time. It was pretty cool,” Jeremy recalled.
Giving others a chance to give back
When it was time to plan this year’s charity golf tournament, Rod knew exactly where the proceeds should go.
“I didn’t see that there were a lot of things that worked out to benefit him, but he kept moving,” Rod explained, “So I wanted to show him, ‘Hey look, there’s people behind you and that respect and understand that.’”
Everything then fell into place for our 2018 tournament at the Owasso Golf and Athletic Club in Owasso, OK.
Since our first tournament, we’ve hosted 8 tournaments in Oklahoma, sponsoring local organizations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Additionally, it is a fun way to get to know our customers and enjoy a couple of hours away from work.
“We want to be a part of the big picture, but it’s nice to find your own small niche,” explained Rod.
Every year we’ve sponsored local organizations, who are often not expecting a large donation.
“I went in and dropped off a check, one day, in an envelope and the lady had no clue,” recounted Rod about giving the last tournament’s proceeds to the Little Light House in Tulsa.
“She reached out to the people at our main office, found out where were, and what we were all about. She came in crying, wanting to thank us and do a bunch of stuff for us. It tugged at our hearts and teared everyone up in the office.”
Finding your niche to give back to
“We’re not asking for any recognition. We just want to do this because everybody has a part or a need to fill and we feel like that’s where we fit in,” said Rod.
Finding your niche and place to fit in is difficult, but it can be simplified by following 3 steps suggested by Rod and Jeremy:
1. Find your niche – what you’re passionate about and can relate to
As Jeremy suggests, “Look inside your family unit first, your extended family, see what other people have dealt with in their lives. There are any of a million different things that they have gone through.”
2. Discipline your time – you can always make time for something that’s important to you
“If it’s important to you, you can find a way to make time,” explained Rod, “you need to align that and I think everything else will pretty much take care of itself.”
3. Work with others – there are many great organizations who are looking for help and volunteers
“We’ve got a great support system and it’s nice to see us getting involved with more [of our customers] doing it,” explains Rod, “Let’s let you guys take the lead and we’ll follow in behind you.”
Our goal is to provide people with an opportunity to use their business for a greater mission. If you have a good cause to give back to and need someone to partner with, let your local store manager know.
Thank you to all of our sponsors:
Norton, DuraSeal, Aerosmith, Unity, Real Wood Floors, Bona, MP Global, Arkansas Products, Smith Flooring, Roberts Flooring, Dugan, Missouri Hardwoods, The Master’s Craft – OKC, Glitsa, Classic Aire, Middle Tennessee, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Maxwell Flooring, BlueLinx