The MBA Association at the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary Presents a Charity Golf Tournament. What a name. I definitely need to shorten that. Fortunately that is about the only thing that has not gone well with the tournament this year. We reached capacity of 144 players (36 teams) several weeks before the event and are on track to raise over $11,000 to support the Wounded Warrior Project. It is anyone’s guess how many people would have played or how much money we would have raised had we not be restricted by the inherent size limitations of a golf course.
To the best of my knowledge, the MBA Association has tried to host a charity golf tournament every spring in recent years. However, the tournament has had a sporadic history and one was not held in 2011. Last year, MGJW Fellow Alicia Burrows M.B.A. ’12 and Robbie Talmage M.B.A. ’12 held a successful tournament at Kiskiack Golf Club. I thought they did a great job, particularly since they had to start from scratch because there was not one the prior year. They had 23 teams, raised almost $7,000 for the WWP, and everyone had a fantastic day. It’s no secret that I’m an avid golfer, so after the tournament last spring Alicia and Robbie approached me about taking over tournament duties since both of them were graduating.
While the 2012 tournament was successful, I knew it had potential to be even better. A fair amount of strategy went into insuring the success of the 2013 tournament. First, I changed the venue to Golden Horseshoe because it is less than two miles from school, has an outstanding reputation, and is the perfect place to host our event. To expand the tournament to people outside of the W&M community I created a website, www.wmgolftournament.com, and offered people the option to pay online via PayPal. After the foundation was set it was just a matter of contacting and informing as many people as possible about the tournament: Mason students, faculty, Executive Partners, the Law School, local military bases, etc. Countless emails were exchanged and everything has been documented in an extensive Google Doc.
The Wounded Warrior Project is such a special organization and I am thrilled to be able to support it. The charity holds a particularly special place in the hearts of our MBA students: roughly 20% of our program is comprised of active duty military officers, we are located near many military bases like Ft. Eustis and Langley Air Force Base, and there are many veterans that live in the area.
Planning this tournament has been a great experience. I had enough autonomy to manage the tournament just about any way I pleased; it was nice having that much freedom, but it is also a lot of responsibility. I have used many of the skills I learned at Williams & Mary: making pro forma income statements, negotiating with local vendors, using project management skills, developing a website, and more. It has been a pleasure managing the tournament and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help the school. I can’t wait for April 6th!
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