September 17, 2019, 3:10 PM HST
Derrick Watts, Founder and President; Scott Main, Vice President; Forrest Belter, Treasurer; John Addison, Secretary; Maly Romero, Marketing; Christian Rawson, Island Rep. PC: Hawai‘i Golf Course Employees Foundation
The Hawai‘i Golf Course Employee Foundation (HGCEF) was launched in December 2018 with the mission to assist industry employees financially and by helping them meet basic needs of transportation, affordable living situations and medical care. Also addressed are other financial difficulties, family emergencies and challenges unique to specific individuals.
Founder Derrick Watts said the inspiration for the HGCEF came out of the realization that many industry employees struggle financially on a daily basis.
“That’s why I set on a mission to create a Foundation that can help these employees get back on their feet,” he wrote in an email to Big Island Now. “The golf industry is a big part of Hawai‘i tourism, but it seems that some of the employees are struggling to provide for their families and themselves. Most golf courses have at least one employee that is going through some sort of hardship and could use some help.”
On Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, the foundation is hosting a charity golf tournament at Kona Country Club.
The Board of Directors and Members volunteer their time without compensation, resulting in fundraising and administrative costs of less than 2% of total contributions. Roughly 98-99% of the donations go straight to Hawai‘i Golf Course Employees and their families.
The board will receive employee nominations from Hawai‘i Golf Course Superintendents, then review the nominations for each employee. Nominations will be prioritized based on the categories of death, natural disasters, illness or injury, or catastrophic or extreme circumstances.
Funds will be distributed annually in the month of November. The board will work closely with the Golf Course Superintendent to allocate the funds toward employee financial needs.
To learn more about the foundation, the tournament and other fundraising options, visit www.hgcef.org
The HGCEF is a 501(c)3 nonproﬁt charity registered within the U.S. Contributions to the foundation are tax-deductible within guidelines of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.