Instances of altruism can inspire a generation.
This is true for the Florida State Women’s Golf Coach Amy Bond. She has shouldered the responsibility of helping the Panhandle of Florida recover from the disastrous aftermaths of the Hurricane Michael by initiating a fundraising campaign.
Be it former Yankees’ great Jorge Posada’s fundraising campaign after Hurricane Maria or Houston Texans’ star player J.J. Wyatt’s efforts following Hurricane Harvey, sports have often provided a pivotal platform to promote philanthropic ideals, and Bond has championed the cause of giving back to others.
“Hurricane Michael was devastating to the Florida Gulf Coast,” said Bond. “Tallahassee received some damage, but overall, we were spared the brunt of the storm by 15-20 miles. I feel like we were very blessed and in seeing the devastation our neighbors received, I wanted to do something to help.
“I knew we had just two tournaments left in the fall and I wanted to figure out the best way to contribute as much money as I could to help. I know our team makes a lot of birdies, however, I wanted to maximize the contribution because many people had lost everything. So, I decided to donate money for every birdie and every eagle in the entire field. The better the play and more birdies made, the more money I would donate to help. Ultimately, I felt like we were lucky and I wanted to try to help those less fortunate.”
Bond pledged to donate $1 for every birdie and $5 for every eagle carded by every golfer in each of the Seminoles’ final two events of the fall season.
“I didn’t really have any expectations when I initiated the campaign,” said Bond. “I was hoping a few others would join me, but if not, then I just wanted to raise as much money as I could. To me, every little bit helps.”
The Stanford Intercollegiate hosted 85 players who produced 593 birdies (including 23 by the Seminoles) and eight eagles (including two by the Seminoles).
The 76 players in the three rounds of the Jim West Challenge in San Marcos, Texas carded 580 birdies (including 59 by the Seminoles) and 12 eagles (one by the Seminoles).
This totals up to 1,173 birdies and 20 eagles which adds to a sum of $1,273.
“I plan to donate the money to the Salvation Army,” said Bond. “I will specify to which particular counties/relief efforts I would like the money to go towards.”
The players were the internal support pillars of this fundraising campaign and the success of the campaign was contingent on the success of the players on the golf course.
“Honestly, I didn’t really tell the players about this campaign,” said Bond. “I know many of them read it on social media, however, I did not specifically tell them. Really, I just wanted them to go out there and play the best golf that they possibly could. I did have a few of them make sure that they told me how many birdies and eagles they made each day.”
Bond has not only set herself apart through this campaign but also inspired the players to develop an attitude of contribution. These philanthropic ideals can teach them important life lessons and help them grow in a positive manner.
“I hope this leaves a lasting impression on our players and promotes them to have a giving heart,” said Bond. “A bad day on the golf course is nothing compared to what many people deal with on a daily basis; those who are battling cancer or other illnesses, have lost their homes in disasters, or are just plain struggling with what life has dealt them.”
In addition to the Seminole players, the campaign also incorporated the birdies and eagles made by the players from other universities who participated in the Stanford Intercollegiate and the Jim West Challenge.
“Other players and coaches were excited to be included,” said Bond. “The funny thing was a few other coaches around the country caught wind of what I was doing and they would text me after every round to let me know how many birdies and eagles were made.”
Bond received support from Lisa Strom, host coach from Texas State, at the Jim West Challenge.
“I believe she set the course up so that players could make a lot of birdies and money would come flying out of my check book,” said Bond. “She even set the course up for lots of eagles as well. She texted me the birdie and eagle count after the first day and the text said, ‘Birdie Count!! Woohoo!! Donations!’ Then added an on-fire emoji.”
Bond has a generous history of making financial contributions to hurricane relief efforts. Last year, when Hurricanes Harvey and Irma circled through and wreaked havoc in the states of Texas and Florida, Bond initiated a similar fundraising campaign.
“For every birdie our team made in the fall season, I donated $10, for every eagle I would donate $25, and I had to add a hole in one category as Amanda Doherty made a hole in one which I donate $100. This campaign raised $1470 which I split between Texas and Florida. I sent $735 to the Humane Society of Houston and $735 to the Salvation Army of South Florida.”
Bond is the epitome of a sports hero who has contributed greatly to the athletic program at the Florida State University, both on and off the field.
The Women’s Golf Coaches Association conferred the Founders Award to Bond during the WGCA Member Convention in Las Vegas on Dec. 4, 2018 for her compassionate work.
“The more positive things that people can see, the better everyone’s quality of life will be in the world,” said Bond. “We are very fortunate to do what we love and realize that every day is not promised, so we need to make the most of it. Unfortunately, there are others in the world that are struggling and need our help. I am a blessed person and hope to always continue to help others whenever and wherever I can.”