Ever wonder what Santa does the other 364 days of the year? Golf. It’s true! Each July, he joins his friends at the Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency for the annual Santa’s Sleigh Golf Tournament.
The event raises money for Santa’s Sleigh, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to purchasing Christmas presents for homeless children of all ages in Oklahoma. Since 2001, Santa’s Sleigh has served more than12,000 homeless children.
“This is our biggest fundraiser,” said Holley Mangham, Communications Director at OHFA. “It’s an all volunteer group from OHFA that started when some of our employees who golf together thought we should do this as a charity event.”
And they are making a big impact! Last year, Santa’s Sleigh delivered gifts to 1,745 kids in 58 shelters across the state. Not just one toy for each child, either. Santa brings these kids a bag filled with great items ranging from hats and gloves to mp3 players to a toothbrush and toothpaste.
“Our volunteers call the shelters in the early fall to estimate how many kids they estimate they will have during the holidays. Then, we buy in bulk to save money,” said Holley.
While the kids benefit from the group’s hard work, the golfers have a great time raising money. “There are 36 teams in the tournament and it sells out almost every year,” said Holley. “Even with a dip in the economy, we didn’t see a drop in sponsorships or donations. Our supporters are very loyal!”
To thank the participants this year, Santa’s Sleigh gave each golfer a goodie bag which included a commemorative Santa’s Sleigh ornament to help them remember the good time they had helping children in need.
Posted on Mon, August 26, 2013
by Brian Blake