For a second straight year, the Jackson golf team is fundraising through a raffle but this year’s event has taken a different route because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of raising money for the program to help with various costs, the team decided the money raised this year will be given to the ‘Community Foundation of Jackson Hole’ that provides funds to non-profits in need. In this case, it’s going towards their Community Emergency Response Fund.

Head coach Ryan Allen said they had already started the fundraiser in February, but after the pandemic hit, he exchanged some texts with his assistant coach and both felt they need to do something.

“We need to do something as a team. We need to do this, and we presented the idea to our captains, Sara White and Oliver Orchard, and they jumped on it. They’re like, yes, absolutely. This is what we want to do. It’s a great idea.”

Allen added, “We want to be able to show the community that we want to help. We care. It’s something we can do safely to make a little bit of an impact in our community.”

The raffle is for a foursome at one of four courses in the area. You can choose to play Shooting Star Jackson Hole Golf Club, Teton Pines Golf Course, Snake River Sporting Club, or at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club. The cost is $20 for one raffle ticket.

The ticket has a message on it, saying, “Life’s most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” MLK Jr.

Allen said that the response has been great. They’ve raised around $2100 to this point and will continue to sell tickets until a drawing on May 1.

What’s been more impressive is how far and wide they’ve reached. Allen told WyoPreps that folks from California to Georgia to Texas and even Chicago have bought raffles tickets in support of their efforts. All of it’s been through word-of-mouth, over social media, such as their Instagram account, and a couple of articles in the Jackson Hole News and Guide.

Allen said, “A lot of people come to Jackson in the summertime or the wintertime, and they really enjoy the place, love the sense of community we have here, and they love those aspects of it… They have some form of connection to Jackson, where they visit here in the summers, or they have family that lives here, or they used to live here. They want to help our community… It’s cool to see people care enough to reach out and take time out of their day to support our fundraiser and support our community in that way.”

Winning a round of golf in Jackson is just a bonus.

It’s also been a way for Coach Allen to continue to stress the Broncs team motto they’ve had since he took over. It’s one of ‘Attitude and Effort.’

“You’re attitude and effort makes a big difference in your daily life a lot of times. We’re very fortunate that our kids are doing well, and they’re able to participate in school and have families that are supportive. It’s an opportunity for our team to ‘give back,’ and really, walk the walk, on that mantra.”

Allen believes it helps develop a culture within their program that they’re going to try to uplift others and have a positive impact on their community.

“When you have an opportunity to help others, you need to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Allen calls it a success and the final numbers aren’t finished.

Like a lot of folks that have been in isolation and adhered to social distancing practices, Allen is anxious to get back out there, on the course.

“I miss seeing my team. I miss seeing my kids at school (as a teacher).”

They’ve been holding online meetings and team chats just to check on each other.

Allen hopes this can springboard them into the fall with competitive boys and girls teams.

“I definitely feel like that. The kids on the team really enjoy each other’s company. A lot of them are friends outside of the golf course and golf team. They want to do well for each other. They care about how they play. They care about how they perform. They generally just truly care about each other.”

For now, the team is focused on caring about its community and hoping everyone is staying safe and healthy through the pandemic.

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, please reach out to the Jackson program through their Instagram page @BroncsGolf or email head coach Ryan Allen at rallen@tcsd.org.

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