In 2015 I had the pleasure of golfing with the ladies from the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) of Long Island .
I initially met Irene Efstathiadis on Twitter and when she invited me to play, I headed down there from PEI (Prince Edward Island) to tee it up. It turned into a three-day golfing adventure with Irene, Gayel, Laura, Evelyn, Kathy, Karen and Mary.
Wonderful ladies who I now call friends.
The EWGA is an organisation which connects women through golf and has thousands of members in chapters throughout the Unites States. When I was there last year, we spent a lot of time talking golf, travel and my combination of both. The ladies were very interested in my Fairway Foodie website and YouTube channel that I had just started at the time, and being fellow golf passionistas, I knew they would be interested in my new Not-For-Profit (NFP) project, Fairways. I looked forward to having a golf chat with them.
Four weeks after I had the idea for Fairways, I had sent a group message to my Long Island friends, telling them of my new venture. In addition to some golf, I was hoping to get a little benefit from their business expertise. Gayle Litwin, for example, is a marketing expert and finished her career as a Vice President with Amex.
I had extended an invitation to the ladies to visit me on PEI this Summer, but since nobody could make and I still wanted to see them, I arranged to head south. I timed my visit with the first Women’s Golf Day, which I like to think of as International Women’s Golf Day, considering golf was played at over 400 locations in 27 countries.
I arrived in the afternoon the day prior to the event, so went directly to Irene’s house and caught up with her and her wonderful family. I had a bit of spare time, so wrote some Fairways articles, as content marketing through blogs is one of the most important ways to get our message out to potential cadets, sponsors and partners.
"Cadets" are what our sponsored juniors are called. Irene and I then discussed the Fairways vision and how we intend to grow junior golf. I showed Irene our logo and our project management software, Trello . We then discussed the government requirements for NFPs and I explained that once we sponsor a junior through Fairways we will continue to support them until they no longer want to golf, or their financial situation changes for the better. At that time the funding can go to another junior. Irene is an intelligent businesswoman and her input was much appreciated.
The next day dawned with perfect weather for golf, and I was excited to catch up with all the women again. Irene and Gayle had a 9 hole event planned for Women's Golf Day at Harbor Links Golf Club, on its Executive Course. Next visit I want to play the Championship Course. Just saying.
We stopped in at the clubhouse for a golf chat with Justin Feldman, the Harbor Links Operations Manager who had help the EWGA women organise their event . He couldn’t believe the amount of work we'd already completed for Fairways and that we had already sponsored four juniors!
We made a little video in the car park then headed in for a spot of golf. We were met by Gayle and chatted about the organization of the golf day and the vision of Elisa Gaudet (Women's Golf Day founder) and the ladies who have helped her create an amazing global event. I must meet Elisa one day.
My other friends from last year arrived, some knowing I was in town others not. It was great to catch up briefly before heading out to play. After a fun round of golf, we all met up for dinner and lamented we didn't have more time to play golf together. We swapped golf and wedding stories (both Gayle's and Laura's daughters had recently been married) and I told the ladies all about Fairways and the juniors I had already sponsored. They love the idea of supporting disadvantaged kids at the grassroots level.
Gayle and I chatted about marketing strategies, discussing founding partners, corporate sponsorship and the various aspects of aligning our NFP with global partners. Like Justin, the ladies were amazed at the amount of work we had done in such a short time. When you are passionate about something, it doesn’t really feel like work, and I do like just getting things done.
It was wonderful to see everyone, have a golf chat and I do believe I now have another annual event to add to my golf calendar. See you next year!