Our family feels fortunate to be the host to about forty fundraising golf outings each year. It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many great causes out there that need help. I have featured several of them here on our website. If you’d like to check them out, you can click here, here, here or here. With that number, that’d mean in the last nine years that I have been in charge of golf outings, I have been witness to more than 350 golf outing starts. The golf outings all begin with festive shouts of excitement as the golfers take off to their designated holes. Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy those excited joyous starts to a golf outing, but last week, I had the privilege to witness something entirely different.
As the 143 golfers prepared to head out to play golf, they were gathered around to remember the one golfer who was their honorary golfer of the day, Cameron Carico. Cameron’s name was listed on the cart among his other family member names who were assigned to begin on hole number one, but Cameron was only there in spirit. Cameron’s cousin, Michael Cameron, addressed the crowd with Cameron’s favorite bible verse. For those of you interested (and/or are confused), Cameron was his mother’s maiden name which can potentially lead to a confusing number of Camerons or Caricos in this post.
Psalm 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble.
Michael went on to address the crowd while the family displayed checks showing over $10,000 that had been raised for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness. Then, he started the golf outing with a prayer. That was a big moment for me as a golf outing coordinator, mother, member of our community and fellow Christian. The Carico family has been through such heartache, yet here they all were. Encouraging one another and doing something to honor Cameron’s legacy. Upholding the truth in that bible verse and leaning on each other and God to make a difference in our community. That strength of family and friends continued throughout the day as the number of volunteers surpassed any number I have ever seen at a golf outing. Everyone staying true to their foundation’s mission to promote happy and healthy students and families in Central Iowa through suicide prevention and mental health education.
As the prayer was finished, the golfers walked to their golf carts to begin the day of celebration. Cameron’s sister gave the official start to the day.
A golf outing seemed like a good way to raise money because it was something that Cameron enjoyed with his family. Here is Cameron pictured with the traveling plate/trophy for when the family played golf together. Those special times together playing golf led to the current tournament.
You couldn’t have asked for better weather. The sun was shining brightly and there was just a slight breeze.
Smiling and encouraging family members were ever-present throughout the day. Fully aware of who they were here to remember, but choosing to turn a tragedy into a positive.
This is only their second year to hold this golf outing. They had a full number of golfers last year and this year which speaks volumes on the amount of support they have received from our community. It is pretty rare for a fundraising golf outing to begin with a full complement of golfers. Suicide Prevention and Mental Health is such a hard topic to address, but the Caricos do it with poise, grace, and positivity.
They all worked together to make a great experience for their golfers. It was such a fun day! One of their event holes took place on number nine. If golfers went into the water, then they got a snickers. This hole was to help golfers understand what it was like to play golf with Cameron. He was always able to turn a negative into a positive!
The family has been working hard to make their foundation recognized as an official 501c3 and they are very close to making that a reality. In the last year, Cameron Carico +10 Foundation has been able to donate $4,000 to the Orchard Place and Polk County Suicide Prevention Coalition as well as $11,000 to the Iowa Health Student Assistance Program. This year, they were able to raise more than $10,000 at their golf outing.
I have mentioned it several times, but I gotta say it one more time because it’s true. One of my favorite aspects of my job is getting to meet some inspirational people. The Carico family is a very large group of people working extremely hard to make a difference in the lives of others. Their positive energy and attitudes just flow freely and have a great effect on the people around them. If you’d like to help them out, you can make a donation on their website.