Palm Beach Teen Preps for Annual Charity Golf Tournament
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (March 31, 2021) Health and safety standards won’t be in the rough at the fifth annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic that’s scheduled for Saturday, April 17, at Banyan Cay Resort & Golf, West Palm Beach, Fla.
Postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, 16-year-old Rafe is eager to see the return of his annual spring fundraiser for Food For The Poor. With safety measures in play, physical distancing and face masks will be required for everyone attending the fun-filled event for golfers of all ages and skill levels.
“We all needed to adjust to the pandemic in order to maintain safety. The decision to postpone my fifth annual event last year was disappointing and necessary for the safety of all my participants,” Rafe said. “This year, masks and sanitizers will be given out, and boxed lunches will be provided. Thankfully, the COVID situation is more under control and on a decline due to vaccinations and taking precautions, like mask wearing, and I am still making sure people adhere to safety guidelines. I am hopeful that this year’s event will again be a fun day of golf, which raises money for an extremely good cause.”
Rafe and his parents, Diahann and Jay Cochran, are hopeful this year’s event will achieve their son’s fundraising goal for the expansion of a fourth school in Jamaica through FFTP. Rafe is motivated to provide much-needed classroom space at Holland High School in Falmouth, Trelawny, and is using his skills on the golf course to make his mission a reality.
“I look at the COVID-19 as just another challenge in life, and as a family we just have had to adapt and stay true to our values and press on with life in a safe and positive manner,” Jay Cochran said.
“This event, and philanthropic effort, is especially important to our family because we feel more than ever children need a place to be educated,” Diahann Cochran said. “During this pandemic, we saw as a nation that children were truly suffering with the loss of education and social interaction from not being in school. It became even more evident that school is essential for health, for socialization, and for learning.”
Holland High School, ranked among the top high schools in Jamaica, opened in 2005 with a student population of 400. Before the pandemic, there were nearly 1,100 students and an academic staff of 50 at the school.
“It’s very encouraging and humbling to know Rafe’s desire to help students in Jamaica never waned during the outbreak of the coronavirus,” said Angel Aloma, Food For The Poor Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Classroom space may not be an issue now, but before the pandemic, the school had been unable to implement a full curriculum for its students due to a lack of classroom space. Thanks to Rafe’s desire to expand the school, when all of the students return to Holland High, they will have adequate classroom space to learn.”
Rafe created his charity golf event at age 11, hosting his first golf classic in 2016. His love for the sport started when he was 6. With the support of his parents, at age 9 he became one of FFTP’s youngest donors, raising money to build 10 homes in Haiti, and later building or expanding three schools in Jamaica by the age of 14.
A sophomore at Oxbridge Academy, in West Palm Beach, Rafe also is a member of his school’s varsity golfing team. He competes in tournaments year-round, nationally and internationally. He believes that his philanthropic efforts are equally important “because you’re never too young to make a difference.”
“I have been doing virtual schooling since the pandemic started and I now truly realize how important it is for children to be able to attend school,” Rafe added. “I believe school not only aids in educating but also aids in the socialization of children. I feel education is what empowers people to move forward.”
To learn more about Rafe’s projects, visit: www.FoodForThePoor.org/rafe
Event Sponsors: Bessemer Trust and Susan Phipps Cochran, Food & Beverage Sponsor: Braman Motorcars, Gift Bag Sponsors: The Romeo Family, The Schar Family and The Preston Family, Caddy Sponsor: The Romero Family, Golf Cart Sponsor: Banyan Cay Resort & Golf, Longest Drive Closest to the Pin Sponsors: The Heard Family and Susan Antinori, Hole Sponsors: The MacMorris Family, Intercoastal Financial Group, CrossFit El Cid, The Hilpl Family, Vasantha Siva, Vernon Westfall, Sam Netkin, The Giangrande Foundation, The Woodman Family, Lamont Harris, The Parker Family and Sol & Hermina Cantor.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.
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