Golfers get to eat their way around the golf course Saturday, Dec. 1, on Ryan House fundraiser Gourmet Golf. “It’s an entertainment and food event, not just a golf tournament,” says Rusty Dees, a member of Ryan House Board of Directors and co-chair of the second annual golf tournament. At every third hole, a celebrity chef — whom Dees describes as “among the most recognizable chefs in the Valley” — will serve appetizers to the players. The tasty eating continues into post-round festivities, to accompany dancing to the popular local band Elvis Before Noon. In a hospitality tent for a few of the families Ryan House has served, “people can actually see the families their support is helping to bring a little joy to,” Dees says.
A silent auction will help boost the event’s fundraising toward its goal of $120,000, which will help Ryan House in its mission to provide ongoing care to families with children with life-threatening illnesses. The organization’s facility provides a cheering environment for the children and their families, and Dees says, “The most comfortable place for them to come for end-of-life-care is Ryan House.”
- An estimated 5,000 families in Arizona are caring for children at home who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
- Ryan House has served 135 families for respite care and 75 for end-of-life care since it opened in mid-2010, and is aiming to be able to serve more than 200 in 2013.
- Operating budget is $1.8 million annually, and all services are provided to the families at no charge.
- Ryan House operates with care teams of 20 full-time employees and a growing force of volunteers that currently numbers more than 300.
- It has four signature fundraisers: Gourmet Golf, Run for Ryan House, Community Breakfast and White Christmas.