Featured Charity Event: Drive For Kids Campaign
Award Winning Synergy 8 Group Hosts Another Successful Drive For Kids Campaign
The sign of a successful Charity Golf Event is measured not only by the financial contributions made to charitable causes, but the legacy that continues to grow stronger each and every year.
Attend any one of the Synergy 8 events throughout the calendar year and you’ll quickly realize why the group is top of the class when it comes to hosting innovative and successful fundraising campaigns.
The 2019 edition of the “Drive for Kids Campaign” was another huge success for all involved, from the golfers and sponsors to the many organizations that directly benefit, including; Crisis Nursery, YMCA Strong Kids Program, Ronald McDonald House, Saskatoon Cancer Clinic and countless more.
For the golfers, getting up close and personal with 2011 Britsh Open Champion Darren Clarke and The Golf Channels’ Blair O’Neal was a big thrill. Adding local celebrities such as Saskatchewan Roughrider’s quarterback Cody Fajardo also helps the energy flow throughout the entire event.
18 holes of golf at Willows Golf & Country Cub, one of Saskatchewan’s top golf facilities, a premium tee gift, meals and prizes, photo opps with a couple of golf’s top ambassadors and a top tier dinner banquet all add up to the ideal golf event. Layer on the charity component of the golf event, with an opportunity to help raise funds for local and provincial causes, and you’ve got the template for hosting a successful Charity Golf Event.
Rob Lozinski, along with the rest of the Synergy 8 Community Builders directors, hit a home run with this year’s event hosts as Darren Clarke and Blair O’Neal couldn’t have been more welcoming to all of the golfers, sponsors and invited guests.
We sat down with Rob Lozinski recently to discuss the the growth and popularity of the annual Synergy 8 Drive For Kids Campaign.
2019 was year 11 for the Synergy 8 Drive for Kids Campaign. What have been the main ingredients to success over the years?
Rob: It’s a combination of things, but mainly the cause, the chance to meet a couple of golf celebrities, and ultimately it’s just a fantastic event!
The fundraising efforts each year during the annual event are incredible. Tell us about the fundraising beneficiaries and core fundraising initiatives.
Rob: We have always maintained that we would raise funds for children’s causes, and we’ve remained true to that. Each year is slightly different, but always for the kids!
We’ve worked with some wonderful organizations from the Crisis Nursery to the YMCA Strong Kids program to the Ronald McDonald House and especially the 2 children’s ambulances and the health bus we have purchased for the health region – so many excellent causes – the one that really stands out of course was the work we did with the Cancer Clinic – that was an extremely emotional event.
The Saskatoon Children’s Hospital has opened in Saskatoon. How rewarding is it that Synergy 8 played a role in raising money for the Hospital over the years?
Rob: It’s just unbelievable – Brad Wall made the announcement for the children’s hospital 10 years ago at one of our events (with John Daly) and to see it finally complete and open is just incredible!
What’s involved in securing your Featured Guests and Hosts for each year, and how far in advance does the planning take place?
Rob: Usually we have a round table with the 9 directors of the group and come up with a name or 2 that we then ask our agent to pursue on our behalf. We often start planning the next year right after we wrap up the event. In fact, we’ve already put an offer in on a golf celebrity for 2020.
Approximately how many people are involved in organizing the event each year?
Rob: The 9 members do most of the planning and selling of sponsorships, but the real work is done by the people at the Willows and Prairieland Park – they make us look really good each and every year – we learn each year and continue to evolve our event to make it better every year! I think this year we also had nearly 50 volunteers including our wives and some of our kids have started helping out so it’s becoming very much a family event for us!
How have the PGA / LPGA Tour players and invited guest hosts embraced the city of Saskatoon and the entire Synergy 8 experience as a whole?
Each one of them has been really impressed with our efficiency and the scale of the event. Sir Nick Faldo has even mentioned us a few time on the Golf Channel. Fred Couples came back a second time. Almost each former guest has sent us an item to auction off after their visit. I think these things say a great deal about our city, about how we treat them, and about how they feel about us! Some of them have commented how awesome it is to see the excitement in our guest’s eyes and how gracious our community is.
With all of the amazing guests over the years, including Fred Couples, David Feherty, Tom Watson, John Daly and many more, do you ever get starstruck?
Rob: I don’t have time to get starstruck ! lol ! Fred Couples was just so cool. And now that we’ve met Darren Clarke, he may be my new favorite – he was a character!!! David Feherty was a total blast too!
You surprised the golfers in attendance this year with the appearance of Saskatchewan Roughrider’s quarterback Cody Fajardo, NHL Player Eric Gryba and Saskatchewan comedian Kelly Taylor. Can you give us a hint as to what’s in store for 2020?
Rob: That is yet to be determined, but Cody has said that he’d love to come back and maybe bring a friend ! Eric Gryba and Cam Talbot have become good friends of our group too by being ‘surprise’ guests the last couple of years– I think you can always count on Synergy 8 always having a surprise or two up our sleeves.
Thanks for your time Rob and hats off to the Synergy 8 Community Builders for their ongoing support of Saskatchewan’s Charities and Causes.
Written by Scott Allan / SaskGolfer, Images Credit: Grant Romancia Photography