On the afternoon of Nov. 4, a ladder truck from OC Fire Authorities Fire Station 59 took a break from its usual duties and extended its ladder over the soccer field of Our Lady of Fatima Academy in San Clemente.
STUDENT CALIN DAW AND OLF ACADEMY PRINCIPAL BRETT MINTER. PHOTO BY SPENCER GRANT/DIOCESE OF ORANGE
From the ladder, a firefighter dropped hundreds of numbered, color-coordinated golf balls to the ground. It was all part of the school’s third annual Golf Ball Drop fundraiser.
Students, parents and staff gathered in a circle waiting with anticipation to learn if they would be the lucky winners. Prizes included $2,000 cash, a pair of stand-up BruSurf paddleboards and two Murf electric bicycles.
As the golf balls cascaded to the ground, parent volunteer Andy Brosche spotted the winning balls and, carrying a laptop, announced the winners.
“The whole school community comes together for the golf ball drop,” said school principal Brett Minter. “All families are encouraged to be a par t of the event. They can come together to watch to see if the y win a prize. Also, they enjoy the food and ice cream.”
Each student was encouraged to sell 50 golf balls at $10 each to friends, family and other well-wishers. Collectively, 8,238 golf balls were sold.
“Some sold less but others sold tons,” said Minter.
THE GOLF BALLS ARE DROPPED FROM AN OC FIRE AUTHORITY LADDER TRUCK AT THE START OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA ACADEMY’S GOLF BALL DROP FUNDRAISER ON NOV. 4. PHOTO BY SPENCER GRANT/DIOCESE OF ORANGE
Brosche explained the logistics.
“We sold 8,238 balls,” he said. “Now, you can’t drop that many balls; it would be a disaster, so we put them in groups of 500 and then we associated colors with them. For every 500 balls we sold we added a ne w color. To find the winner, we find the closest number. For example, the winner might be red 320.”
Brosche estimated that the school raised about $41,000, and the golf drop event isn’t even the school’s biggest fundraiser of the year. In March the school will host an auction event on campus that raises about $200,000.
“There’s a band, dancing –all that fun stuff,” said Brosche.
Golf Drop sponsors included the Barrows family, the Sea Horse Resort in San Clemente, Murf Electric Bikes and BruSurf. The golf balls were provided courtesy of AccelRaise and its founder Chris Cordero.
Student Calin Daw sold the $2,000 prize winning golf ball to his mother Bethany. He was over the moon at their good fortune.
HUNDREDS OF NUMBERED, COLOR-COORDINATED GOLF BALLS WERE DROPPED DURING OUR LADY OF FATIMA ACADEMY’S ANNUAL FUNDRAISER. PHOTO BY SPENCER GRANT/DIOCESE OF ORANGE
“When we first won the money, I had no clue how to react,” he said.” I was in shock for a few seconds.”