Fore! Four! For Space Inspired STEM Student Programs

Last week I had the great pleasure of getting to attend the Waste Management Phoenix Open, as a very casual golf fan and occasional golfer myself, I had heard this was THE goal event to attend.

Now you may be thinking… What in the world does golf have to do with Higher Orbits or STEM? Believe it or not… a lot!

Let’s start with the sport of golf… the science, technology and engineering that go into making the clubs, balls and courses is tremendous!

Then there’s this specific event… Did you know that the Phoenix Open is a Zero Waste Event?! That’s a tremendous accomplishment for the environment given how large the event is.

Admittedly, neither of the above are why I chose to attend the Phoenix Open. Honestly – it looked like a fun event and I thought, perhaps I might meet a few interesting people who might possibly be interested in supporting Higher Orbits and our Go For Launch! program.

Seeing Stars

Wednesday was the celebrity Pro-Am day and I must admit, it was pretty cool to see some folks who I’m a fan of including Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher. In chatting with an individual waiting for Urlacher to come to the tee box, we got to talking about Higher Orbits. I’m excited to say that as a result of this Higher Orbits has a signed Brian Urlacher 8×10 photo to auction off in support of our space-inspired student programs.

(Oh yeah… And I did get to meet Urlacher as well and he was a super nice guy! He was even wearing Higher Orbits colors that day!)

Pro-Am Golf day At Waste Management Phoenix Open with Chicago Bears Brian Urlacher

Since I had this great signed photo (not the one above! One of Urlacher playing football.) I certainly didn’t want to get it damaged so I went to the gift shop to see if I could get a bag. When I got there I ran into a clearance rack. (For those who know me, they know, I would much rather tell someone how much money I saved than spend a bunch of money on something. Clearance is my favorite price!)

The Stars Made Me Do It

So there, hanging on the clearance rack, were 2 shirts that not only had the Phoenix Waste Management Open logo on it… but they also had stars all over them! They were much to small for me to wear but then an idea came to me… They would be perfect items to have autographed and auctioned off to raise money for Higher Orbits & the Space Camp Hall of Fame Auctions. Given that the shirts were clearance priced to $5 each – I thought this was a good investment to make!

(Added bonus – the shirts were pretty portable and easy to carry and then pack to bring back!)

So off I wandered to see what golfers I could get to sign the shirts for these great causes!

Fore! Four! For Space Inspired STEM Student Programs

First person I wandered upon (and it was wandered upon because he was off the course at that point on his own) was Padraig Harrington. I was hesitant to ask him because I didn’t want to pester but he was so kind especially when I mentioned the reason for asking that he signed right away. (He even gave the pointer that I needed to make sure to pull the shirt tight when folks were signing.)Next golfer who was kind enough to sign was Brandt Snedeker. Thought Brandt was golfing with Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians, he was so nice to stop for a moment and sign the other shirt I had.


Rounding out the gracious golfers were Robert Streb and Charley Hoffman.

Golfers Who were kind enough to Autograph

I am so appreciative of the kindness of these guys to take the time to do this to support space inspired student STEM programs. The four golfers signatures will be auctioned off in the coming months so stay tuned! I promise I’ll do my best to yell “Fore!” when the auctions start in honor of this!

Debating which shirt goes to which auction… The one with only a single signature is signed by Padraig Harrington. (Just the way the allocations worked out as I grabbed the shirts out of the bag for signatures.) But irrespective of which shirt goes to which auction, they both will play a stellar role in providing scholarships to students for space inspired events.





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