Alexis Gopfert has been playing competitive golf and visiting Rainbow Children’s Home each for about three years, so when she realized she could turn her passion for a sport into something beneficial for the children of the North Georgia home, Gopfert jumped at the chance and planned a charity golf tournament.
"We’ve been going to the home for about three years," Gopfert said. "What motivated me was hearing about it from a neighbor and deciding that it would be better to give our old clothes to girls who need them.
"But I always wanted to do something more."
Her goal was to raise $2,000 for the shelter, which houses girls ages 12 to 17 who have been removed from their home due to abuse or neglect, or because they simply have nowhere else to go.
Instead, Gopfert’s Dec. 15 tournament was a phenomenal success and raised $6,100 for Rainbow Children’s Home, enough to help give the girls of the shelter a Christmas to remember.
"When I took the checks to the shelter, I brought them in a big envelope and gave it to the manager, and she started bawling crying," Gopfert said.
She mentioned that the final event leading to her planning the tournament was a recent visit to the home that made a big impact.
"One of the last times we went, there was a girl who had just gotten there and all she had was the clothes on her back," Gopfert said. "So we talked to the manager there to find a way to raise more funds."
The family is a member of the Achasta golf community in Dahlonega, so Gopfert used her connection to the sport to plan the event in just 30 days with help from her mom and sister.
"I started playing golf about three years ago, so it was the first thing that I thought of when I thought ‘What way can I raise money for these girls?’" Gopfert said. "It came together very quickly."
Originally, 60 golfers signed up to play in the scramble-format tournament, and 30 showed up to play in the 45-degree weather. However, many others made donations to the cause, helping Gopfert exceed her goal.
"I think some people didn’t show up because of the weather, but people that couldn’t play signed up to donate anyway," Gopfert said.
She plans to hold the tournament again this year, with a few minor changes.
"We’ll definitely do it in warmer weather this time," she said. "That’s part of the reason there weren’t as many donations as there could have been."
To get involved with Rainbow Children’s home, please visit www.rainbowchildrens home.org or call 706-864-5110.