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Virtual fundraiser success

Golf team of youth golfers

Private school passionate about education and golf.

In Fall 2018, St. Thomas Aquinas School in Fairfield, CT, launched a middle school golf team, which is open to players in the 5th through 8th grade with golf experience. During the seven week session, up to 16 students practice weekly with a pro at a local course, play at weekly meet ups, and compete in a local tournament. The success of the program even has the kids getting together in the off season to play with each other.

A fundraiser 99 years in the making

The school, which was founded 99 year ago in 1921, was set to host its annual Spring to Auction Benefit on April 25, 2020. Event organizers invited Golf Pad to participate with a donation. Golf Pad readily agreed.

Then, COVID-19 and local stay-at-home-orders changed everything. No large gatherings were to be allowed during this time.

The event is the sole fundraiser for the school with the goal of raising funds to be allocated towards the school's technology program, enrichment opportunities for students and teachers, funding scholarships for students in need (approximately 25% of students receive tuition assistance) as well as faculty positions, and upgrades to their 99 year-old school building. Prior Spring to Auction Events provided enough proceeds to hire a full-time guidance counselor, grant over $250,000 in additional, cumulative scholarships, accelerate middle school math offerings, establish a School Garden and refurbish a few key classrooms and technological centers.

The fundraiser is a critical event for the ongoing success of the school. Cancellation wasn’t an option. Event organizers decided to move the benefit 100% online

In total, over $105,000 was raised from the comfort of its attendees couches on May 29, 2020.  They even hit the Zoom limit with 100 dial ins. St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School surpassed its virtual auction goals. Silent items yielded close to 100% of value, which is a record. This was led by golf, which as a category alone, raised over $8,000,  20% of the silent auction proceeds.