Rafe Cochran Golf Classic: Dedicated Golfers Raise Awareness, Funds to Help FFTP Build Classrooms
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 4, 2023) Golfers in the Seventh Annual Rafe Cochran Golf Classic gathered in joyous camaraderie to support the event’s 18-year-old namesake in helping Food For The Poor (FFTP) expand an overcrowded school in Jamaica. Twenty-one foursomes participated in the classic on May 1 at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fla.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who came out to support us,” Cochran said. “We were blessed with beautiful weather, the golf course was in great shape, and I think everyone had a good time.”
His mom, Diahann Cochran, agreed.
“We’re very happy with the turnout,” Diahann Cochran said. “I’m just so proud of Rafe for continuing on this journey of helping others.”
Rafe began making a name in the golfing world when he was 6. At age 9, he became one of Food For The Poor’s youngest donors, ultimately raising money to build 10 homes in Haiti and five schools in Jamaica, including last year’s expansion of McGrath High School in Treadways, Jamaica.
“To be able to impact the community through education, I believe, is the strongest gift one can give because education will impact generations to come,” Rafe said during the classic’s awards program. “We will continue to help one person, one family and one school at a time.”
This year’s classic is funding the expansion of Innswood High School, located on the Innswood estate in St. Catherine Parish, Jamaica. Built to educate 1,200 students, Innswood’s current school enrollment is 1,700 students. Proceeds will fund the construction of two new buildings and six classrooms to ease overcrowding, bringing the total to six schools that Rafe has supported.
“Rafe has said time and again, ‘You’re never too young to take action and make a difference,’ and he has demonstrated that philosophy once again through this year’s golf classic,” said Ed Raine, FFTP President/CEO. “We are deeply grateful that Rafe had the wisdom and drive to support Food For The Poor dating back to when he was in grade school, and we look forward to working with him to accomplish even more in the future.”
Briggs Forelli attended high school with Rafe’s father, Jay Cochran, and has had a ringside seat to watch Rafe grow up. Forelli, who winters in West Palm Beach, is usually in New York during the classic. Although he donates to the event every year, this is the first time he has been able to attend – and he assembled a foursome of friends to join him.
“I’ve been watching the progress of this event and the great things Rafe has done, starting in Haiti and now in Jamaica,” Forelli said. “I think it’s amazing that he began this classic at such a young age and has been able to do so much over the years.”
Like Forelli, many participants were drawn to the classic through their personal or golfing connection with Rafe and his family. All were moved by his commitment to help improve the lives of the less fortunate.
“Mission work is important to our family,” said Kathy Coors, whose family’s foundation was among the sponsors of the classic. “We’re all united in love, and today we’re all united to lend a hand in supporting this event.”
For professional golfer David Liu, the bond of friendship with Rafe was a significant draw.
“Rafe is one of my best friends, and I want to support him however I can,” he said. “I just love all of this – playing golf, playing with great friends, having a lot of fun, and helping to make a difference in the lives of so many people.”
A senior honors student at Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Rafe is looking forward to spending his gap year competing in amateur golf tournaments and taking online courses before attending college. From the beginning, he’s always had the love and support of his parents, and they stand behind him 100 percent. They are in awe of his ability to engage with people from all walks of life and inspire them to help impoverished families and communities.
“Our family has done a lot of philanthropy over a long period of time,” said Jay Cochran, Rafe’s father. “He’s taken it to a whole new level, and I think it’s been a great experience for all of us.”
There is still time to join Rafe Cochran and his supporters in raising funds for Innswood High School. To learn more, visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/rafe.
Event Sponsors: Bessemer Trust; Coors Foundation; Ron and Dolores Romeo; Susan Phipps Cochran; Food & Beverage Sponsor: Braman Motor Company; Gift Bag Sponsors: John and Monika Preston; Longest Drive Closest to the Pin Sponsor: Phillip Coco; Golf Cart Sponsor: Victoria Matthews; Hole Sponsors: Vivian MacMorris, Leslie Schram; Burns & Severson, P.A.; Lisa and Michael Scotto; El Cid Fitness; and Barefoot Monkey Fine Jewelry & Accessories.
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, 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.