Golf Industry Forms "Clubs Help" to Support Local Hospitals, First Responders

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Clubs HELP has been formed to engage golf clubs and their members to connect with hospitals in their local areas to provide a critically needed support network to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Professional golfer and philanthropist Ernie Els is supporting this new organization, a 501(c)3 foundation, and issued a challenge to his fellow golfers, corporate partners, and other sports celebrities to get involved.

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“Every community wants to support their local hospital and first responders. We know that strength in numbers—clubs and their members’ networks—could make a meaningful impact.” - Ernie Els

Clubs HELP has been formed to engage golf clubs and their members to connect with hospitals in their local areas to provide a critically needed support network to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this time of an unprecedented international health crisis, the sense of community generated in each local market is stronger than ever. Now, this collective energy and club resources are being deployed where needed most.

A member or club management agrees to serve as the club’s “captain” and enrolls the club at Clubs HELP. The club then adopts a local hospital, which assigns a liaison. Working cooperatively, the most pressing needs of the hospital are identified. Then, club members, companies, and individual donors pitch in to gather, collect, and deliver the most necessary items and resources to the hospital.

Professional golfer and philanthropist Ernie Els is supporting this new organization, a 501(c)3 foundation, and issued a challenge to his fellow golfers, corporate partners, and other sports celebrities to get involved.

“When my management team told me about this initiative, I was right behind it straight away,” said Els. “It’s a shining example of how people all around the world are pulling together in this crisis to help vulnerable members of society and, of course, support the frontline healthcare staff who are literally putting their lives on the line for all of us.” Els, a member of Old Palm Golf Club Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., has partnered with Jupiter Medical Center.

“Every community wants to support their local hospital and first responders. We know that strength in numbers—clubs and their members’ networks—could make a meaningful impact.” Els added.

The original concept came from Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown, N.J. where David Bachman, General Manager, got the idea from one of his members and her daughters who wanted to become actively involved and help their local hospital, Morristown Medical Center. The club is now an ongoing supplier of food, beverages, and PPE equipment to its adopted hospital.

Others heard about it and leapt into action last week and quickly assisted hospitals in beleaguered northeastern states—New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The initiative took off and now companies like Clif Bar and AT&T are supplying Mt. Sinai and Bellevue Hospitals in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The most pressing needs for the frontline hospital workers are basic food items that can be consumed quickly, PPE supplies, UV lighting for sterilization of phones and keys, and delivery services,” said Bachman. “Anything a member may be able to offer, including transport vehicles, personnel, or manufacturing capabilities, should be raised with their club and hospital captains.”

The assistance of golf’s premier organizations, including the National Club Association, the Golf Writers Association of America, and their leadership have pledged to jump start the ClubsHELP program and make a swift and meaningful impact in communities throughout the United States. Additionally, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) have alerted their memberships that golf clubs across the country are activating.

To be a captain, register a club, pledge support, or get additional information, access the web site at http://www.clubshelp.org or text ClubsHELP to 71441.
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Karen Moraghan
@HPRPebbleBeach
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