On a weather-perfect, sunny fall day just north of Houston last month, 280 golfers participated in a charity tournament, luncheon, and silent auction benefitting the Good Shepherd Residential Treatment Center through the recently created Building New Foundations nonprofit volunteer organization. Thousands of dollars were raised which will benefit the Center which helps boys who are considered to be too “high risk” for regular foster care. Without the efforts of the staff and volunteers at Good Shepherd, and the money raised from private donations, these boys would not have a safe place to live or much hope for their futures.
The golf tournament kicked off with a Putting Contest and a Marshmallow Drive. Then groups of four took to the links to vie for other awards such as Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin – or at least to turn in a respectable score. After the golf, everyone returned to the clubhouse for a generous lunch and amazing silent auction. Auction items included sports memorabilia such as autographed football jerseys, photographs, helmets, and balls. There were also musical instruments, hunting and fishing equipment, and camping gear. You could even bid to hire two general laborers for a day!
When everyone had had a chance to bid on the auction items and fill a plate, Hayden Austin, a Project Manager at D.E. Harvey Builders and board member for Building New Foundations spoke about the boys who would benefit from the money collected that day. He said that the boys the Good Shepherd cares for are considered by many to be “lost causes”, and most of them will never be adopted. They have often already been through several foster care facilities. The Good Shepherd RTC offers love and direction to these children by providing for their basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, but also through mentoring them and guiding them as few other adults have done in their lives.
Austin explained that the funding provided by the State of Texas only covers the basic needs of the boys – leaving nothing left to maintain or improve their facility. For the past few years, volunteers from several companies have worked together on “Serve Days” at the Good Shepherd campus to rehabilitate and repair it so that it is “a little more livable”. One of the goals of Building New Foundations is to raise enough money so that a completely new facility can be built for the Center. Architectural drawings of the proposed new campus were displayed throughout the clubhouse. In the following 5-minute video, Austin explains why the new facility is so badly needed, shares about his personal experience volunteering as a mentor at the Center, and tells how he and some of his colleagues took two of the boys on a “field trip” to a construction site to introduce them to the possibility of careers in construction.
A program at each seat credited the many sponsors who made the day’s events possible with both their financial and volunteer support.
Inside each program was a card with the story of one of the residents of Good Shepherd. These stories would break your heart. One boy was removed from his family as a result of abuse and neglect. He suffers from ADHD, Schizoaffective Disorder and borderline intellectual functioning. Since his placement at Good Shepherd, he is working hard toward making passing grades. He would like to be a welder after he finishes school. Another boy was held in juvenile probation at one time for his own health and safety. His mother is a drug user that has never been employed, and his father “lives” in jail. He has had to be the “parent” to his own mother, preventing him from being able to attend school. His three older brothers are all in jail. The Good Shepherd’s goal is to help him get an education and to break the “family tradition” of jail time. He hopes to be a mechanic one day. The boys and the stories are real, but their names had been changed to protect their identities.
The day concluded with the drawings for the many door prizes and the announcement of the tournament award winners. Trophies for these were made of concrete blocks with rebar hoisting a golf ball – representing “building blocks” for the Foundation being supported by the event.
Companies who sponsored the First Annual Building New Foundations Charity Golf Tournament:
Straus Systems, Inc.
Karsten Interior Services, LP
ACS Flooring Group
BMF Solutions, LP
Buffalo Architectural Millwork
Capital Fire Protection, LLC
CE Anderson, Inc.
Coastal Supplies and Services
Door Pro Systems
Environment Architectural Millwork
Fast Track Specialties, LP
Fire Safe Protection Services, LP
Globe Fire Sprinkler Corporation
Jonathon Dahl Woodworks
LFT Finishes, Inc.
Marek Brothers Systems, Inc.
Northstar Alarm and Suppression Systems, LLC
Rubber Flooring Systems
Southeast Fire Protection
Wilson Fire Equipment
The Wood Gallery, Inc.
Beverage Cart Sponsorships
Clunn Acoustical Systems
Compliance Safety Consulting
Enterprise Commercial Paving
LFT Finishes, Inc.
Marek Sawing and Drilling, LLC
Martinez Millwork, Inc.
As we move through this holiday season, perhaps we could consider reaching out to help others in our community. On that sunny afternoon last month, Mr. Austin issued the following challenge:
“We are all busy, we all have our lives and our families. Get in the game and do something – even if it is something small.”