It all started as a simple way to show appreciation for customers, but Johnson Lumber’s inaugural golf tournament ended up becoming a significant way for a family-owned business to help further a mission very near and dear to the hearts of those behind it. The inaugural Timothy Ray Invitational Tournament – which the Johnson family plans to make an annual event – raised $4,000 for the Cool Kids Campaign, a Maryland-based charity devoted to improving the quality of life for pediatric oncology patients and their families by focusing on the academic, social and emotional needs brought on by a cancer diagnosis.
“I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 4 years old, so it was personal,” explained Jeff Johnson, chief of operations and marketing with Johnson Lumber. “I’ve had friends who have kids who have gone through the same thing, and it can be stressful for any parent. The charity focuses on the families and the kids and making sure they’re taken care of while they’re at the hospital. It seemed like a good fit for us.”
The golf tournament was named for a late member of the Johnson Lumber team, Timothy Ray, who was with the company for more than 20 years before he passed away from cancer.
Planning the event took about a year, during which time Johnson Lumber turned to fellow businesses for sponsorship. “It takes about $30,000 to run a golf tournament like this between signage and banners, awards, green fees, food and drink – you really are dependent on sponsors,” Johnson said. Although a few national businesses contributed, most of the sponsorships came from local businesses.
More than 90 golfers and about 140 people total gathered at Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville on Wednesday, September 19, and according to Johnson, the day could not have been better. “It went off without a hitch and was a fun day,” he said. “We had nothing but compliments from everyone. The staff and service were great, and nobody had a bad time.”
Looking forward to next year, Johnson expects to make the event bigger and get more golfers involved. “Once you get the ball rolling, more people hear about it and find out about it,” he said. “We might open it up to the public instead of making it completely by invitation.”
For more information on Johnson Lumber or to stay updated about its community involvement, find and like The J.F. Johnson Lumber Company on Facebook or visit www.johnsonlumber.biz.