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The City Journals

Golf etiquette makes for perfect green carpet for anti-bullying fundraiser at Stonebridge

Jul 08, 2019 03:35PM ● By Jennifer J Johnson

Stonebridge Golf Club boasts Scottish-style links at a public course. The setting was perfect for the second annual Stand for Kind fundraiser, which added $50,000 to the organization’s anti-bullying coffers. (Stand for Kind)

By Jennifer J. Johnson | [email protected]

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) asserts that golf teaches young people “life’s most valuable skills.”

While the PGA does not specifically call out “no bullying,” that concept is a given in the sportsmanlike-play of the 15
th-century game still. Such sport made perfect sense as a fundraiser for an anti-bullying education group, “Stand for Kind,” to leverage the sport for one of its annual fundraising activities. 

Making a positive difference in the persistent problem of bullying

Stand for Kind, founded by well-connected businessman and recreational golfer Stan Parrish, is a group of business, community and education leaders who have come together to make a positive difference in the persistent problem of bullying.

Instead of just preaching about the ills and dangers of bullying — what Parrish dubs “calling attention to it” — Stand for Kind “actually goes out into the schools and tells kids in schools about tools available to them (to help stop the problem),” Parrish said. “We reinforce positive behavior.”

Realizing that its initial name—“The Anti-Bullying Coalition” was having the unintentional effect of emphasizing the very concept of bullying, so in an anti-Voldemort-like move, the organization changed its name and its web URL to the new, empowering name which is also a directive for youth — “Stand for Kind.”

It’s a message that’s “much better to come, student to student, versus counselor to student,” Parrish said.  “A student can see another student sitting by themselves, we encourage them to go sit with them, to let them know they are wanted.” With this as its model, the nonprofit instructs K-12 students — nearly 300,000 across the state — about how to combat bullying through kindness.

Making bullying whiff through overwhelming, omnipresent acts of kindness – and 18 holes!

More than 30,000 incidents and nearly 20,000 incidents of cyber-bullying are, slowly, but surely getting drowned out by what Stand for Kind reports as more than 900,000 identified, “random acts of kindness,” said Pam Hayes, director of the Stand for Kind organization.

Stand for Kind is having immediate, traceable impact. “We were able to prevent 55 suicides,” reported Hayes. Her message to those participating in the May 31 golf tournament, the second annual such event, is: “We will do even more.”

“A lot of people like to play golf and a lot of people like to do good and contribute… so why not combine the two?” Parrish said.

Parrish knows a lot of people.

In his previous life, the storied businessman has led both the Salt Lake Area, and then, later, the Sandy chambers of commerce. 

“This is just one event, but it’s a very good event,” he told the City Journals. “People appreciate that and support it.”

Parrish is right. The 128 golfers comprising 32 foursomes raised $50,000 for Stand for Kind.

All who enjoyed what the Stand for Kind public relations team deemed “a sunny West Valley City morning” were winners in terms of a great day for golf. Individual winners were determined in categories including “longest drive,” “straightest drive,” “closest to the hole,” and the “hole-in-one” completion.

The Larry H. Miller Dealerships even put up a Toyota SUV to anyone landing a hole-in-one. Sadly, would-be SUV drivers will have to up their drives to land the ace.

There’s always next year, kind golfers.