The Fun in Fundraising at Weston Hills, Florida
It hardly seems like four years have passed since a team of volunteers launched the first independent golf and dinner fundraising event at the elegant Weston Hills Country Club in South Florida. The Weston Hills event was actually the first TPRF Golf fundraiser held outside of California. Many similar events have since followed in Weston Hills’ footsteps.The fourth edition of the all-day golf and dinner outing turned out to be as classy and enjoyable as the previous events, at least in the humble opinion of this observer. The minute I walked through the archway towards the clubhouse, my spirits rose in anticipation of the friendly faces, stately décor, delicious food, and the unique feeling I knew from previous experience awaited me. The stress of my forty-minute trek through rush hour traffic diffused almost immediately upon walking into the dining room. A volunteer musician was playing soothing jazz on electric guitar in one cornerof the room. I was one of the first guests to arrive.
Wine in hand, I sat at a nearby table with two close friends, soaking in the atmosphere. My friends, a married couple, like me, have enjoyed listening to Prem Rawat’s message of peace for many years. We had come not out of a sense of duty or obligation, not to be seen or heard, not to advance our careers through networking. We had come out of a feeling in the heart for the founder of the organization and the humanitarian work of TPRF.
The dinner and dessert buffet offered an abundant selection of foods from salads, pastas, meats and vegetables, to delicious cakes, pies, and ice creams. I could not help but reflect on the fortunate beneficiaries of TPRF’s Food for People initiative, who must feel like they are being treated to a feast every day of their lives since the Food for People centers opened in India and Nepal.
After dinner, the audience was treated to a viewing of Flame of Hope, a twelve-minute film documenting how the lives of hundreds of malnourished children and adults have been transformed by the Food for People centers. These people now have hope and a future, thanks to TPRF and the dedication of TPRF volunteers. Elliot Galanter and Carlos Mier organized the event. In preparing the team of volunteers for the fundraiser, Elliot said, “Start with fun and the funds will follow.” Apparently, the approach worked. The event raised $18,000 for the benefit of TPRF’s proprietary Food for People initiative, with 52 people participating in the golf tournament and 82 attending the dinner. Elliot closed the evening with a heartfelt “Thank you” to participants, volunteers, and the Weston Hills Staff.