What do you get when you bring together two friends who share the same birthday, a love of golf, and a desire to help others? You get the 411 Golf Classic!

Friends Paula Stachowski and Greg Ives started the 411 Club as a way to celebrate their birthdays – both were born on April 11, 1970. Three years ago, they organized their first 411 Golf Classic birthday celebration. Expecting to have three or four foursomes join them, they were surprised when 36 people came out. In the second year, they decided to ask their friends to make a donation to a local charity instead of bringing them gifts. The response from guests was overwhelmingly positive so they decided to keep the tradition going this year!

With 2020 marking their 50th birthdays, Paula and Greg wanted to do something extra special for their 3rd Annual 411 Golf Classic. Greg’s wife, Laurie, brought Youth On Their Own to the attention of their planning committee (made up of Paula, Greg, Laurie, Dan Stromberg, and Jen Wraith) after seeing YOTO ads around town and hearing about our work on the news. The committee members agreed that YOTO’s mission to support the high school graduation of youth experiencing homelessness in the community was meaningful and would be easy to champion among their friends and family.

After being delayed twice due to COVID-19, Paula and Greg’s 3rd Annual 411 Golf Classic finally took place on May 31 at the Forty Niner Country Club! Despite the pandemic, they were still able to have 63 people participate in the tournament and raise a whopping $2,402.80 for YOTO youth through donations, ticket sales, and raffles! Participants also collected food and hygiene supplies to help restock the Mini Mall where YOTO students can ‘shop for free’ for basic needs items.

According to Greg, “We were so surprised at how generous everyone was this year. We had a great turn out and folks were just really happy to donate.”

Paula commented on how impressed she was to hear how hard YOTO high school seniors worked to graduate despite the obstacles they faced in the last few months with the pandemic, school closures, remote learning, and senior celebration cancellations. “It shows you how bad they want it. I think what kids really want no matter what is structure. YOTO is providing these kids with that structure. It’s inspiring to know that with everything going on that they can still manage to do what they need to do to get their education.”

Greg said that if he could tell YOTO youth anything it would be this: “Tough times don’t last, tough people do!”

YOTO youth are some of the toughest young people around. Despite the odds, they all push forward with the hope of a brighter future!

To Paula, Greg, Laurie, Dan, Jen, and everyone who participated in this year’s 411 Golf Classic – thank you for your kindness and generosity! We are so excited to welcome you to the YOTO Family!

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