One of our phenomenal Give Chances high school volunteers, Hayden Chung, shared his experiences organizing a Charity Golf Tournament to fundraise for Give Chances. Hayden attends Upper School in NJ, and loves soccer, golf and travel. He shares his experiences, from difficulties to rewarding moments, in his reflections below.
Golf has always held a special place in my heart. From the moment I touched my first sand wedge at a tender age of six, I became infatuated with the game. While it may not offer the fast-paced action of some other sports, an 18-hole round is far from boring. It's a journey of skill, strategy, and patience that has woven itself seamlessly into my life. My dedication to golf extends well beyond casual interest. I invest nearly all my time after school in honing my skills, practicing rigorously on weekdays, and embarking on weekend journeys to participate in tournaments. It's a commitment that demands unwavering passion—one that I wholeheartedly embrace.
Nevertheless, my commitment to my community deserves equal attention as golf. Over the past year, I've dedicated my time to working with Give Chances, an organization based in Northvale, NJ, that works to provide children with equal opportunity. While my early volunteer efforts were meaningful, I always felt that I could do more to support this noble cause.
That's when inspiration struck. I decided to fuse my love for golf with my passion for giving back. I partnered with Edgewood Country Club in River Vale, New Jersey to organize a golf fundraising event on July 29, 2023 in which participants can enjoy a round of golf while contributing to Give Chances. We extended invitations to dozens of friends and family to join us in this event. Honestly, the planning process was nerve-wracking: from the number of invitees to the amount of support we would receive. But because our primary goal was to make a meaningful impact, we fervently worked to bring success to our fundraising efforts.
On the day of the event, all our worries and doubts were swiftly dispelled. Enthusiasm filled the air as everyone we had invited showed up, eager to participate and contribute to the cause. The generosity displayed by our friends, family, and fellow golfers exceeded our wildest expectations.
Despite an unexpected rainstorm that shortened our golf round, we managed to enjoy a few holes. What mattered most was knowing that all the green fees, cart fees, and donations were directed toward a truly noble cause — Give Chances. The merging of my favorite sport with the mission of Give Chances enabled us to raise a total of $3.1K, a sum we wholeheartedly donated to further its impactful work.
Collaborating with Give Chances has allowed me to give back to the community that I hold dear. The organization has given me an invaluable opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those less fortunate. I am deeply grateful for this chance to contribute to a cause that ignites my passion, and I eagerly anticipate continuing my journey of blending my love for golf with my unwavering commitment to giving back to the community. Together, we have the power to make a real and lasting impact on the lives of individuals with special needs and lack resources, shaping a brighter future for all.