Turning Lemons into Lemonade

In case you live under a rock or outside of our great state of Iowa, we’ve had a pretty ugly spring.  So ugly, in fact, that it actually snowed.  In.  May.  Yeah.  Let me tell you that I have no doubt this will definitely be one of those springs you talk about for years.  As I mentioned in this post, we have done our best to make the best of it.  We continue to work on outdoor projects, keep positive attitudes, and realize that the snow will melt.  Someday.  As my Grandma always says, “Nothing lasts forever.”

The big snow storm started to fall on Thursday and continued into Friday.

I don’t honestly mind snow.  I just don’t like May snow.  In our business, we need all the good weather we can get.  On Saturday, we woke up to a blanket of snow still on the ground.  That’s when I made the phone call.  The phone call that let my Saturday golf outing know that I wasn’t sure what to do for them because the golf course was simply covered in snow.

Ryan and his wife, Holly, have a foundation that honors their infant son, Little Al, who passed away almost 8 years ago.  They have been holding a golf outing to raise money for their foundation every year since Little Al passed and the weather has always pulled through.  They have had rain, then 10 minutes before it was time to golf, the rain stopped.  They have had oppressive heat and massive thunderstorms, but they have always gotten to golf.  Ryan has always attributed the good weather fortune to his son.  Little Al is watching over them.

Unfortunately, the snow was just simply not going to melt in time.

That’s when I got a lesson in the power of positivity.  I told Ryan that he got the award for most optimistic person I had ever met.  He never gave up hope that the snow would eventually melt.  When I met Ryan in the parking lot, he greeted me with his clubs propped up in the front seat of his car.  “There’s still three more hours,” he remarked while I stomped snow off of my shoes.

Ryan and Holly had a plan.  They would honor their son no matter the cost or weather.

My brother, Jason, went up to the miniature golf to prepare for Ryan and Holly’s plan.  Everyone had agreed that while it seemed a bit difficult to shovel the big golf course free from snow, shoveling snow off holes on the miniature golf course wasn’t nearly as daunting.

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The hole that was covered the most in snow was number 18.

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Jason went around all the edges of the miniature golf holes with his shovel and cleared them off.

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Jason and I actually felt pretty good that we had an alternative option for Ryan and Holly to use.  After all, who would think that you’d get 6 inches of snow on May 3?

IMG_5091One of the best parts about my job is that I get to help people raise money for good causes.  Ryan and Holly have done their best to make lemonade out of their lemons ever since their sweet boy passed from this earth.  One of the ways they do this is by helping families who need money because they are staying in hotels or hospitals far away from home.  It is a natural thing to do.  Stop your life and spend each waking moment with a sick child.  Money shouldn’t be a burden to those families.  Jason was happy to lend a helping hand to help Ryan and Holly raise money for their son.

IMG_5064Ryan had booked his biggest turnout yet.  Almost 60 golfers showed up to enjoy the day.  They arrived and treated the day like any other golf outing by ordering hot dogs and lemonade.  It seemed like an appropriate drink.  Everyone was in good spirits and ready to enjoy the day.

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They registered like they would for any other golf outing and got Little Al gear.

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The outing didn’t begin with the normal shotgun.   It began with a raffle where people could win lots of great prizes.  All of the proceeds benefit the Little Al Foundation.

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There were many great prizes available, but I had the distinct impression that none of the 60 people had any interest in the prizes.  They were there to help Ryan and Holly and their foundation.

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In the group were many people who had traveled a long distance to thank Ryan and Holly because they had provided them financial support in a time of need.  There were friends and family members who could reflect on Little Al and the impact that he has made on everyone’s life.  The festive group of golfers decided to have a long drive contest on a very snow covered driving range.  We just happened to have a range mat for them to use, so we set it up for them on the driveway, so they could hit balls.

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When they were done, everyone headed over to play a few rounds of miniature golf and compete for prizes.  It was a great day.  A lesson in the power of positivity and that you can make a difference in this world if you put your mind to it.  As I left the clubhouse, I noticed some snow that seemed to have melted into the shape of a toy dinosaur.  I couldn’t help, but to think about Little Al and his parents and sisters.  They continue to do such great work for our community with their drive, passion, but most of all with their positive thinking.  You can always make lemonade with your lemons.

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Do you want to know more about Little Al’s Foundation?  They have many events throughout the year.  Check out their website.

Post by Allison

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