Rafe Cochran Golf Classic: Golfers Hit the Greens to Build Classrooms
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 10, 2022) Palm Beach teen Rafe Cochran once again successfully merged his two passions – playing golf and helping the less fortunate – by bringing people together to compete in the annual charity golf tournament that bears his name. On Friday, May 6, 24 foursomes participated in the sixth annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic to help the 17-year-old relieve overcrowding at a high school in Jamaica, through Food For The Poor.
“Today, we are all here alongside the amazing organization, Food For The Poor, to raise funds to build new buildings at the McGrath High School in Treadways, Jamaica,” Rafe said during the classic’s awards presentation. “To be able to impact the community through education is the strongest gift one can give because education will impact the lives of generations to come.”
Rafe’s passion for golf began when he was 6 years old. He created his charity golf event at age 11, hosting his first golf classic in 2016. His love for the game 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 age 14.
This year’s classic will fund the construction of two buildings with six classrooms to accommodate 140 children and six staff members at McGrath High School in Treadways, Jamaica. Originally built to accommodate 600 students ages 12 to 15, the school has a population of 1,200 students, ages 12 to 18, many from low-income families. Many students attend classes outdoors beneath gazebos or trees and in open areas under staircases and in corridors.
A junior at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Rafe is a ranking member of the American Junior Golf Association. When he is not planning the golf classic, he is traveling across the country participating in golf tournaments with the goal of someday being a professional golfer.
“Rafe’s dedication to his sport and the people we serve is commendable,” FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine said. “He is wise beyond his years, and his compassion is boundless. We’re honored to partner with him.”
Rafe was introduced to FFTP by Delane Bailey-Herd, who visited his third-grade class at Palm Beach Day Academy and shared information about the charity and its efforts to transform the lives of impoverished people in the Caribbean and Latin America. Her message ignited Rafe’s passion for helping those in need through his yearslong partnership with FFTP.
“Rafe is a kind person, and part of his kindness envelopes the desire that people have opportunities – this is what he’s about, creating opportunities for people,” said Bailey-Herd, FFTP Program Director, Partnerships. “When Rafe came to Food For The Poor, he saw the difficulties that people experienced, and when he went to Haiti and saw the conditions that people lived in, he was determined that he was going to bring about change.”
That desire to bring about change inspired Cochran to enlist his parents, Jay and Diahann Cochran, to help him raise funds for FFTP and ultimately establish the Rafe Cochran Golf Classic. They are the core members of a team of family members, sponsors and well-wishers who embraced his dream to help lift people out of poverty.
“Rafe has always cared about people, and he’s got a big heart – he saw something that touched him inside, and he went with it,” Jay Cochran said before heading out to links with his foursome. “He’s just kept it growing and growing, and it’s put us on a great adventure.”
Rafe’s compassion was on full display during the tournament when he thanked his sponsors, the golfers and FFTP for their participation.
“We will continue to help one person, one family, and one school at a time,” Rafe said. “One is never too young to take action and make a difference. God bless and thank you all again for coming out today.”
There is still time to join Rafe Cochran and his supporters in raising funds for McGrath High School. To learn more, visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/rafe2022.
Event Sponsors: Bessemer Trust, Susan Phipps Cochran, and Ron and Dolores Romeo; Food & Beverage Sponsor: Braman Motorcars; Gift Bag Sponsors: Dwight C. and Martha Schar, and John and Monika Preston; Longest Drive Closest to the Pin Sponsors: Rick and Diane Heard, Spencer Partrich, Lamont Harris and Robert Netkin; Golf Cart Sponsor: Daniel Thomas; Hole & Tee Sponsors: John Dewing, Vasantha Sivaloganath, Flagler Bank, El Cid Fitness, Mint Eco Car Wash, McCarty Family Charitable Fund, Orbit Porshe Service, The Richard Koppelman Revocable Trust, Vernon Westfall, Jim & Vivian MacMorris, Jonathan Parsons, Dean and Jane Woodman, Michael and Karen Murphy, Steven G. and April Finch and Sol and Hermina Cantor Foundation.
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 vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.