Driving 'Fore' Dollars to raise funds for shuttered summer camp
LONDON, ONT. -- In professional golf it's often said you "drive for show" and "putt for dough."
In the fundraising world, it's the opposite.
A London, Ont. golf instructor is hoping his long drives can go the distance for an Elgin County summer camp and retreat.
Johann Kinting will stand on the first tee at Iron Creek Country Club near St. Thomas next Friday and blast golf balls to raise money in a fundraiser named 'Drive Fore Dollars.'
"The idea is that from the first tee at Iron Creek to Pearce Williams' doorstep is 42,650 yards," says Kinting, the founder of Golf London.
"I drive between 250 and 300 yards, and if I limit it to 250 yards, I'll do that 171 times."
Pearce Williams is a church-based summer camp and retreat facility which has been around for generations. This year the camp has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
"It has been tough," says Joe Richards, the executive director at Pearce Williams. "The reality is the government wage subsidy has helped me not think much of closing it immediately. However as soon as those end with zero income coming in we'll need to go through the motions of figuring out what to do next."
The camp has generated a bit of income by housing quarantined migrant workers, however that money is nowhere near what they need to keep the camp open.
"We have had to do a tone of fundraising to cover base costs from insurance to property tax to utilities, upkeeping camps so we are ready to open when this is all said and done," adds Richards. "It is tough, and I've had to consider mothballing the camp until it can generate funds on its own."
Kinting is a golf instructor who works with children and came up with the idea to raise funds. He's been to the retreat, and held a few kids golf camps there last year.
"It's about mental and emotional health," says Kinting. "We featured our first 'snag golf' camps last year. We passed about 300 kids through there last year."
Richards says they hope to raise $10,000 through this fundraiser by having the public sponsor Kinting's drives. It's one of the ways businesses are trying to find unique sponsorship ideas during the pandemic.
"Sponsors can hit their own balls, and I would like a few sponsors because four hours of straight driving could be a bit wearing," says Kinting.
Those wishing to contribute can do so on the camp's website.