BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Eagles for Children, a nonprofit organization founded earlier this year and funded by pledges from golfers from various country clubs, will donate more than $40,000 to 14 local children’s charities this week. The donations will be presented at an event hosted at Oakland Hills Country Club on Thursday.
“Our passion was to help local disadvantaged kids and wondered how we could do it.” said Eagles for Children Co-founders and Oakland Hills Members Hal Zaima and Don Kegley. “We love the game of golf and the breakthrough came when we had an idea as to how we could have fun and use the game to help at-risk and disadvantaged children.” Eagles for Children provided us the unique opportunity to not only bring those passions together, but to build a scalable organization that can make a real difference in potentially millions of kids’ lives.”
The idea was a simple one. Zaima and Kegley, with the help and support of several other Oakland Hills Country Club members, would solicit pledges from within the club for every eagle scored on the course in 2012. These pledges were made with the understanding that 100 percent of the money raised would go to local children’s charities. The response was overwhelming and within weeks the team had leveraged its relationships with other area clubs and expanded the program to include Walnut Creek, Country Club of Detroit, and Pine Lake. When the last hole was carded this season, the four clubs posted 104 eagles and raised more that $40,000.
“It is with the support of our club partners and the generous hearts of the participating members that Eagles for Children is possible,” said Zaima. “But the exciting thing is that we are just getting started. If we can engage just 50 percent of the private clubs in the country, we will raise $32 million annually. That is our vision. That is our goal.”