"What can I do to help? & # 39; & # 39;
How many of us have asked ourselves that question in the last three months?
It is a question that has undoubtedly confronted those who have been fortunate enough not to be part of the terrifying statistics associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, be it the millions who contracted it or the tens of millions who lost. their jobs as a result.
Since mid-March, we have watched nurses and doctors, police, paramedics and firefighters, delivery personnel and grocery store workers continue their jobs and wondering what we would do without their bravery on the lines from the front.
Last month, I was introduced to Eric Sedransk, an avid 35-year-old Jersey City golfer and golfer, and was honored by his ingenious initiative and the simplicity in which he found a way to help with the sport that we are both passionate about. . for.
Sedransk created its "Member4aday Auction", using golf as a vehicle to raise significant money for frontline hospital workers in New York City.
He approached some of the country's most prestigious golf courses and asked if they would be willing to donate a round of golf to a quartet in order to auction it off for the benefit of COVID-19 relief.
Sedransk raised $ 101,186 in the weeklong auction, which produced 202 percent more than its stated goal.
"I set the goal at $ 50,000 and, to be honest, I didn't think I had a chance to get close to that, but I thought I was aiming high," he said. "I thought I was going to raise maybe $ 20,000."
Every penny of that $ 101,186 went to Sedransk's charity, Project Frontline, which was founded by TNT reporter Allie LaForce and her husband, Houston Astros pitcher Joe Smith, to whom Sedransk was introduced by one of donors to his auction, Dormie Network. . The Frontline Project was created by LaForce and Smith to purchase restaurant meals and deliver them to front-line hospital workers.
LaForce estimated that the money raised by Sedransk will provide 10,000 to 12,500 meals to hospital workers in the city.
The genesis of the Sedransk project is what strikes us the most, since it answered that question that bothered many of us: "What can I do to help?"
While quarantined at her mother's home in Hilton Head, South Carolina, where golf courses never closed during the COVID-19 crisis, she said, "I felt this overwhelming guilt that I was playing golf while my friends and family in New York they are fighting a pandemic. That led me to do this as if nothing had prompted me before, trying to find ways to return it, which ultimately led to this auction. "
Before being fired just before the pandemic hit, Sedransk led business development and partnerships for tech companies, so the background was lent to creating an online auction.
"I just started contacting some people that I met through life, business and personal relationships," he said. "I said," Why not just contact? "The worst is worse, they are going to say" No ", but I am raising money for COVID-19 for hospitals and front line workers in New York City. No one is going to tell me: 'Don't call me & # 39; Even if they say “ No '', they will say “ Thank you ''. It's like the softest sale in the world, so I thought, why not? Try it? 39; & # 39;
Sedransk's first call was to a private course outside of Philadelphia called Rolling Green, because he knew the chief professional is following him on Instagram.
"I literally texted him on Instagram and he replied, 'Yes,'" Sedransk said. “Honestly, that was all I needed. I would like to think that even if the first person said "No", it would have continued. But like everything you do in life, if that first one works, that's all you need to get going. Many places said "No", because their statutes do not allow it. Some said "Yes".
Not just "some". Forty-eight of them.
Shinnecock Hills said yes.
So did Friar’s Head, a course that Phil Mickelson told me is his “favorite golf course in the world”.
Silo Ridge, part of the super-exclusive Discovery Land Company, said yes.
So did the medalist, the Tiger Woods home course.
The same with Sleepy Hollow, one of the regional gems in Westchester.
Prestwick in Scotland, the site of the first British Open (October 1860), said yes, as did the Mid Ocean Club in Bermuda.
"The response was outrageous," said Sedransk.
So was the end result.
"I think I was really able to take advantage of something," he said. "I think there is a much greater opportunity to create a platform around golf and donations: auctions, gifts, events, content."
Sedransk was so successful with the member-by-day auction that on Monday it launched another fundraising project to raise more money for COVID-19 relief in New York City.
This is a draw for a round of golf with former Yankee Johnny Damon at Bay Hill Club and Lodge, the course that hosts the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a round of golf with former Giants star Justin Tuck at Whipperwill Golf Club. in Westchester.
Sedransk is working in concert with Damon, who donated the trio at Bay Hill. Those interested can find more information at go.rallyup.com/johnnydamon.