Tania Harmon doesn’t golf, but that didn’t stop her from enjoying every moment of the “Links to Education” golf tournament fundraiser for St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School at The Dunes at Maui Lani Golf Course on Saturday, June 24, 2017. “I’m not a golfer. I don’t watch golf. I’ve tried it and it’s just not my thing,” she admitted. “But honestly, this was one of the best times I have ever had on a golf course.”

It’s easy to see why. That day, Harmon, along with Kristen Goo and Mark Waite, all Realtors® with Wailea Realty Corp. a Boutique of Windermere Real Estate, were stationed at the first tee (which was sponsored by Wailea Realty Corp. a Boutique of Windermere Real Estate), where they had a squishy surprise for tournament participants. “We hosted a marshmallow drive at our tee,” Harmon explained. “Golf is such a serious game, so we lightened the atmosphere with a little silliness.”

For a $5 donation, golfers were given one marshmallow and tried to drive it for distance. The three golfers with the longest drives received $25 restaurant gift cards. “It started off as a fun and silly idea ended up being a fierce competition,” Harmon said. “In addition to the money raised through the golf tournament itself, we raised close to $300 getting these golfers to take a whack at a marshmallow.”

The annual tournament raises funds for St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School’s tuition assistance program. “I believe that being part of a community means supporting your community and its organizations, particularly organizations that support our children. St Anthony’s seeks to provide educational opportunities to as many students as possible and help them achieve their full potential. For some families, tuition assistance is necessary,” Harmon said. “Our brokerage encourages all of us to take an active role in the community we live in and Wailea Realty Corp. supports the community through monetary donations to various organizations, including St Anthony’s. When our owner and principal broker, Brad MacArthur, a St Anthony High School alumni and active board member for the school, told us that Wailea Realty Corp was sponsoring a hole for the tournament, I was happy to get involved.”

Like Harmon, Goo pounced on the opportunity to volunteer at the event. “I’m always happy to give back in any way I can, especially to support anything for keiki and their education,” she said. “I thought it was a great cause and a fun and creative way to get our community involved. It turned out to be a success and we all had an amazing day at the golf course followed by the reception luncheon.”

Both Harmon and Goo encourage others to consider volunteering their time. “Don’t be intimidated and think you have to go big or go home. Every little bit helps,” Harmon said. “You don’t have to sit on a board, chair a committee or commit every week or month to make a difference. A few hours of your time can make a huge difference. Sorting donations at the food bank, helping with a meal service at a soup kitchen, delivering meals to our community’s homebound, helping set up, tear down or clean up an event, helping plant and weed a school garden or manning a booth for a few hours—it all makes a difference. The sum of all these little acts is what makes these organizations’ missions possible. I volunteer my time with various organizations and I always find that I walk away truly inspired each time—inspired by the organizations and their missions, inspired by the beneficiaries and their genuine appreciation and inspired by other volunteers I meet.”

Not to mention, Harmon said, you will learn a lesson or two along the way. “A community is more than neighborhoods and buildings—it’s the people and their stories,” she said. “We have a rich and diverse community here and the best way to learn more about it is to volunteer your time. I can guarantee you will not regret it.”

St Anthony School will host its annual Strength in Unity Benefit Gala on Saturday, Oct. 28, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. Tickets and sponsorships are still available.  To learn more, call 244-4190, email info@sasmaui.org or visit www.sasmaui.org.

By Sarah Ruppenthal

The Maui News – August 26, 2017

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