Reaching Beyond the Classroom: Golf SLAM Raises $30,000 for Service and Missions
The forecast was for rain and even though it was early September in Nashville the temperature was expected to be on the cooler side for that time of the year. In spite of the meteorologists predictions the spirits were high as faculty, staff, students and friends gathered early on a Monday morning last fall to tee off and raise funds for the service and missions programs in the College of Pharmacy. The cool weather remained but the rain stayed south as the first golf ball was launched from the tee.
The inaugural Golf SLAM (Service Learning and Missions) took place on September 27, 2010 at Hillwood Country Club with 108 players participating. The Golf SLAM was established to raise awareness and support for outreach programs for the College of Pharmacy, specifically those incorporating service and missions. Corporate sponsorships totaled $35,000 and included new corporate relationships with Vanguard Health Systems, Healthspring, Psychiatric Solutions, Rite Aid, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals, Biomimetics Pharmaceuticals, The Little Clinic, Fisher Scientific, Avondale Partners, McKesson, CareHere, Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Nashville Pharmacy Services and The Nurse Company. The event resulted in $30,000.00 raised for outreach activities, $4,000 of which was raised through family and friends of student pharmacists. As a result of the Golf SLAM there are 85 new individual donors to the College of Pharmacy and15 new corporate partners. Jeff McCormack, Ph.D., Director of Development stated “We were overwhelmed by the support provided by the corporate sponsors and the way our student pharmacists participated in raising funds. It is an accurate reflection on the true nature of their hearts.”
Faculty, staff and student pharmacist participated in various capacities during the golf outing. Several demonstrated their golf skills, others volunteered to monitor the hole-in-one prizes that were incentives for those with the accuracy needed to hit the ball 175 yards into a hole with a diameter of 4.25 inches. While no one had the accuracy needed to walk away with a car provided by John Roberts Toyota, Manchester, Tennessee, everyone walked away with something of value. For example, spending several hours on the golf course provided a great opportunity for Stan Sims a first year student pharmacist from Brentwood Tennessee. Stan commented, “It was great to be introduced to so many people who are supportive of what we are doing at the College of Pharmacy. I enjoyed getting to know them and get to hear about what they are doing professionally.”
Service and missions are at the heart of the College of Pharmacy. Regularly students applying to the College show up on an interview day and state that engaging with the community and the globe to serve and minister to the needy are a key reason for choosing Lipscomb University. On admissions day Dean Roger Davis stated to the applicants, “At the end of the day if we prepare you with all the skills needed to deliver care to your patients and neglect to foster the compassionate heart then we have failed”.
In the summer of 2010 opportunities were identified by the College of Pharmacy for student pharmacists to serve in clinics in Guatemala, Haiti and Zambia. Two student pharmacists served in Zambia, Africa for six weeks, several weeks of which they assisted in mobile clinics providing healthcare services to over 16,000 patients. John Deason, third year student pharmacist from Nolensville, Tennsessee stated, “I am amazed at how I was able to serve and the impact made not only on the people we served but on how I see the world.” Service and mission opportunities truly can transform the lives of those serving and those being served.
The most immediate and tangible impact that has been made from the Golf SLAM is medication that was provided to the people in Honduras on a mission trip in January 2011. The College of Phamacy sent a team of 25 to Tegucigalpa, Honduras for 5 days to serve some of the most needy in the world. Because of the generosity of those giving to service and missions the team had access to medicine that would not normally have been available. Trinh Truong, third year student pharmacist from Nashville Tennessee commented, “I am so thankful to have the opportunity to provide medicine to people who do not have any access to healthcare. It is a true blessing to help those in need.” In addition, Trinh participated in a group that spent time at Jovenes en Camino an orphanage for boys and was impacted significantly by the simple act of providing multivitamins to a child that just a few months ago was homeless and on the streets of Tegucigalpa. Service and missions truly are representative of the heart of the College of Pharmacy.