Golfing Fore the Greater Good

Golfing Fore the Greater Good

By Laurie Teter

Synergy (syn-er-gy):  the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.

Carol Landis is not a golfer.  She is, however, passionate about giving back to the community, recognizes the Lehigh Valley is flush with golfers and knows a little something about synergy.


How it Began

Carol Landis and her family, owners of three Star Auto Dealerships in the Lehigh Valley, have supported a lot of different organizations over the years, but Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) is Carol’s “pet” project. A self-professed dog lover, she has been actively involved with CCI for years. Carol has also been involved with The Hillside School since it opened in the 1970s. Having a child and now a grandchild attend the school that supports children with language-based learning disabilities, Carol understands the development of emotions and compassion for others is linked to a child’s self-image.

In an effort to teach the students the importance of giving back, Carol has facilitated a partnership between The Hillside School and Canine Companions for Independence. Students are raising money by holding change collection drives and selling bracelets, scarves and art projects they’ve created. Throughout the year, they will learn that Canine Companions enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs at no cost to children, adults, hearing impaired and wounded veterans. They will learn how dogs are trained for service and how placements are made and, of course, puppies-in-training will visit the school. Carol explains, “The children will learn how wonderful it is to give and at the same time will start to understand finance
and entrepreneurship.”


Landis Family Charity Foundation

The large contribution of time, energy and money the Hillside students and their families are putting forth will not only benefit the Canine Companion organization but will also teach everyone involved how important it is to help others in need. In typical fashion, Carol asked herself “what can we do?” The answer is the Landis Family Charity Foundation. Carol and husband Clete individually, have committed to not only matching each dollar raised for Canine Companions but to making an identical contribution to The Hillside School. The Landis Family has applied the same philosophy of partnering for the “greater good” to their newest endeavor, The Landis Cup Charity Foundation.


Golfing Gives Back

The Landis family established the Landis Family Charity Foundation in 2013 to raise awareness and money for a variety of non-profit organizations, including Canine Companions for Independence. Focused around the simple philosophy of “Pay it Forward, Earn it Back,” the Foundation donates to charities and “earns it back” by benefitting from the betterment of the entire community. This year a committee of business leaders and enthusiastic individuals has been developed to help steer the primary initiative of the foundation, The Landis Cup, a season-long golf event culminating with The Landis Cup Million Dollar Charity Shootout.

Utilizing resources contributed via sponsorships from area businesses, The Landis Cup supports local charities by assisting them with the planning, execution and promotion of their golf tournaments. Representatives of the Foundation will assist 25 local charity golf tournaments by hosting free seminars to teach fundraising skills, supplying great tournament giveaways and promoting their golf outings on The Landis Cup website. The objective is two-fold:  to support and promote amateur golf and to raise awareness – and dollars – for local non-profit organizations.


How Does it Work? 

It’s easy. Any amateur golfer age 21 or older can participate by simply registering at Points are awarded between April 21, 2014 and October 31, 2014 for rounds of golf played as well as tournament and charity outing participation. Additional points will be awarded for top-five finishes in tournament play and there is no entry fee for participation.  Golfers can register their rounds and track their points on the website. “It’s a no-brainer for golfers,” says Rob Grow, Business and Personnel Development Manager at Star, who Co-Chairs The Landis Cup with PGA Professional John Suter. “If you’re out there golfing anyway, why not post your rounds with us and register to win some great prizes?”  

Speaking of prizes, in addition to random monthly drawings, the top point winner will be awarded a new Cadillac ATS two-year lease, compliments of the Landis Family. You don’t have to be a good golfer just an avid golfer which, according to Grow, is really the point. “We’re trying to encourage people to get out there and play golf – for their enjoyment, for their health and for their
favorite charity.”

Most golfers appreciate the challenge of playing at a variety of courses and the opportunity to enjoy playing different tournament formats. The Landis Cup website serves as a hub for the program, listing a multitude of available outings held throughout the Valley and keeping track of points earned. By registering with The Landis Cup golfers will find out about tournaments, see how their competition is fairing and learn about all of the worthwhile charities in our community.


The objective is two-fold:  to support and promote amateur golf and to raise awareness – and dollars – for local non-profit organizations.


Million Dollar Shootout

Fifty individuals will be invited to play in the 2014 Landis Cup Charity Million Dollar Shootout at Green Pond Country Club on November 11, 2014. The top ten point winners from the season, one representative from each of the 25 designated charities and fifteen “at large” invitees made up of representatives from other non-profit organizations will participate in the Shootout. A million dollars will be awarded for each hole-in-one made during the final challenge of the Shootout to be split three-ways:  the golfer will receive $500,000, a charity of the golfer’s choice will receive $250,000 and Canine Companions for Independence will receive $250,000.

In addition to the sponsorship dollars being distributed to the non-profit agencies at the Shootout, the top point collector will be awarded the lease for the Cadillac ATS and other random prizes will be given away. So, even if no one gets a hole-in-one, many worthwhile charities will have gained exposure and donations, sponsors will be recognized, various golfers will have won some swag and everyone will have had a good time. It truly is a win-win… and what golfer doesn’t like to win?

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