Lifesaving: Helping Those who Save Others
Over my long career as a golf professional I have been involved in literally hundreds of charity fundraising events. But the one my brother Ash and I took part in this week was uniquely different. This one was to support the Riversdale Beach Lifesaving Club. It involved seventy-eight 4×4 off-road vehicles taking part in an adventurous trek over what I believe to be some of the most beautiful and scenic country in the world.
THE 4×4 OFF-ROAD COASTAL LIFESAVING CLUB TREK
It was a very rare opportunity to have access onto the land we travelled over. The organizers in their planning had to obtain the consent of five different farmers for access onto their properties, to make the trek possible. This sheep and cattle grazing country is hilly and cut with deep, steep ravines. Much of it is steeped in history as its old Maori Tribal land.
From the highest points the views over the countryside and out over the South Pacific Ocean are spectacular. The photos I took in no way do justice to the awesome beauty of this area, New Zealand’s Southern North Island’s East Coast.
In our four-wheel-drive Kia Sportage (our go fishing along the beach and over the rocks transport), we joined seventy-seven other off-road vehicles on an adventure that covered over 120 kilometers (75 miles).
Part of the journey was over dusty farm roads, the dust we created so thick that maybe the long trail might have been seen from outer space. Some of the route was over paddocks with the lead vehicle pressing wheel tracks into the grass that everyone else followed.
A short portion was through thick gorse and low hanging pine trees. This dense growth marking lines through the thick layer of dust on the vehicles’ side doors and in some cases scratching paintwork. In places the path was so narrow and overgrown the vehicle in front of us would disappear from sight. Some parts of the tracks were so narrow and the sheer drops into deep ravens so close that holding ones nerves certainly came into play.
Along the way we made three stops to admire the panoramic views and snack on food and drinks.
Everyone brought their own. Ours consisted of homemade bacon, tomato and egg pie followed by again homemade fruit squares, courtesy of Chef Ash. Socializing at these stops was also part of the day’s enjoyment.
One of the last parts of the trip was to take the group through Riversdale Beach, showing them this pretty hide-away holiday beach community. Full time residents number around 66 but in the summertime through the Christmas and New Year holidays, the number rises to somewhere over 2,000.
Along with the beautiful beach and native reserve laced with walking tracks, the village has a very well maintained links style nine-hole golf course, a country store and the Surf Lifesaving Club. Throughout the village there are a wide variety of sea-side batches (cottages) and homes. As the 4×4 convoy trekked through the streets we drove past the home my brother’s and I share. One photo shows it behind the tall Norfolk Pine, where the American flag is flying in honor of Lincoln’s Birthday.
THE SURF LIFESAVING CLUB
Finally we arrived at the Surf Lifesaving Club, the organization we spent the day raised money for. Every vehicle paid NZ$85.00 for the day’s adventure, with all 100% of the several thousand dollars raised going to the club.
Every summer, the Surf Lifesaving Club has proudly given the residents and holiday makes to Riversdale Beach a wonderful, dedicated and longstanding service. The local community has always responded by holding other fundraising events. One of the most popular is run by the Riversdale Beach Fishing Club. On a Saturday every year members man their boats and go out to catch fish. These are auctioned off at the end of the day. This year’s auction brought in over NZ$7,000.00. All of which went to the very grateful Surf Lifesaving Club.
THE RIVERSDALE BEACH SURF LIFESAVING CLUB IS STRONG
Here is some of its information for 2016
Number of Lifeguards; 44
Time on Duty 2016; 3040 hours
Preventative Actions; 591
Serious 1st Aid Service; 3
People Involved, about; 1,500
Won Rescue Club of the month in December
Recently they have added:
10 New lifeguards
11 Crew Members
Had 3 attend Senior Lifeguard School
Nipper Program held in January 2017 with 60 kids attending each day January
Held a Swimming Carnival with 150 competitors attending from 4 club’s
Also had 150 competitors in a triathlon
18 schools brought 820 children for beach education
Even though an estimated 250 people had spent eight hours in very hot conditions, literally going up-hill and down-dale, along with being tossed and bumped around in their off-road vehicles, everyone had a very enjoyable, rewarding and uniquely different day.
If You’re Involved with a Charity of Nonprofit Organization, here’s a Fundraising Idea for You
The Tip of the Iceberg: If you’ve read any of my many blog posts on planning and running a one day charity fundraising golf tournament, then look at them as being just the tip of the iceberg.
Golf Tournaments 101 Second Edition is full of much more detailed information, guidelines and tips. Much more than blogs alone can cover. It’s unique in that there’s not another guide and planning book on the market containing as much information to assist charities and nonprofits raise money through golf.
Downloadable Tools: Through the book’s website https://charitygolf101.com the second edition makes available over 35 downloadable tools. These Excel and Word files are set up to assist in pre-tournament planning along with a tournament day timeline. Some files are ready to go; others can be modified to suit your own requirements.
Whenever you decide to venture into the world of charity golf fundraising, here is a blog post to get you going.