The Golf Course Industry and its Estimated $100 Million Dollar Economic Impact Is Ready To Help Lead the Tourism Recovery of the Gulf Coast After Katrina ($50M Tourism & $50M Estimated Local Yearly Impact)
Biloxi, MS, September 19, 2005: The Mississippi Gulf Coast Golf Association and its 16 member golf courses have been working behind the scenes for weeks and established a three prong plan to lead the recovery, it includes these goals:
1) Give Golf Course Owners the support they need to rebuild and reopen quickly and update consumers on their progress with this information on www.GolfCoast.com.
2) Establish the Katrina Golf Industry Fund to help the nearly 200 golf industry workers that had severe or catastrophic losses. www.KatrinaGolfIndustryFund.org was established and will be launched this week.
3) Establish the Katrina Junior Golf Fund through the established Gulf Coast Golf Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to spread golf’s life lessons to the underprivileged, the Katrina Junior Golf Fund will accelerate this mission and demand that we move quicker in reaching our goals of being a First Tee Chapter and make golf part of the healing process for resident youth on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast stricken by Katrina. www.KatrinaJuniorGolfFund.org has been launched to accomplish this effort.
Some area Golf Courses have opened already this past weekend with over 75% of the areas courses to open by January 1st 2006. A full list of area courses and their prospective opening dates is attached and will be updated weekly on www.GolfCoast.com to better communicate with the over 60,000 golfers who visit Mississippi’s Golf Coast yearly. The coast needs golfers to consider visiting the coast for the first time and those who were planning on visiting to not cancel their plans, but to bring more people to the coast to enjoy the value and beautiful weather and the Gulf Coast people who make visitors feel so welcome with their patented ‘Southern Hospitality.’ The golf industry will initially serve the local community with a needed distraction and a way to spend quality time with friends and family that the game of golf delivers like no other sport.
The golf association has spoken with representatives from the following seven national golf organizations and they have all pledged their support:
Many people have asked what can be done to help those desperately in need. The immediate need is for cash. The American Red Cross (1-800-HELP-NOW), and the Salvation Army (1-800-SAL-ARMY) all have established funds to assist those in need through out the gulf coast. The Gulf Coast Golf Foundation also has established the Katrina Golf Industry Fund and www.KatrinsGolfIndustryFund.org web site has been established so people can give direct support to the over 200 workers in the golf industry that have lost everything. We have also pledged to expose the game of golf to more kids and use golf as a way to lead the recovery for kids because of golf’s life enhancing values like honesty, integrity and perseverance that is inherent in the game. Another web site has been established – www.KatrinaJuniorGolfFund.org – to accomplish these goals through the Gulf Coast Golf Foundation.
Those of you wishing to make an immediate impact are encouraged to contact one of these national organizations or contribute to the local Katrina Golf Industry Fund or the Katrina Junior Golf Fund on their respective web sites. We also encourage you to hold a ‘Katrina Golf Event” at your club for the organization or local program of your choice. If you want an area golf representative or area Katrina victim to attend your fund raising event so you can see and hear from the people you are helping, or if you have any questions, e-mail us at Katrina@GolfCoast.com.
“I am amazed and impressed with how my friends and neighbors are so optimistic and undaunted by this catastrophic event,” Says Kevin Drum, Executive Director of the MS Gulf Coast Golf Association, “and I am even more impressed with the golf course owners, golf professionals and golf industry workers that are working hard getting courses ready even though their home and car have been destroyed. ”