While most 11-year-old boys spent their summers sleeping in or playing video games, Rafe Cochran was busy planning his second golf tournament in the name of philanthropy.
Rafe was introduced to Food For The Poor as part of a third-grade field trip. After hearing about the organization, he said he knew he had to become involved.
The Palm Beach Day School sixth grader decided to combine his urge to give back with his passion for golf. He asked his parents and parents’ friends to pledge money for different shots he made during a golf tournament – $100 for pars, $200 for birdies and $250 for eagles.
After he’d completed the tournament, he’d raised enough money to build two homes in Haiti.
“That made me feel incredible,” Rafe said. “I was just so happy. I just felt like I had to raise more money.”
His next idea was a full fledged golf tournament at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club, his home golf course. He wrote a personal letter with each invitation that went out. The inaugural Rafe Cochran Golf Classic attracted more than 80 golfers and raised more than $41,000 for the organization. That’s enough to build six double-unit concrete block shelters in Haiti.
“I was speechless,” Rafe said. “I’m so honored and so happy I can help so many people. My next goal is to meet them.”
Rafe said he hopes to make his tournament bigger. For the second annual edition, he’s going to sell the sculptures he makes at the Norton, with most of the profits benefiting Food For The Poor. He also creates hand-drawn cards that are available at Truffies Palm Beach. Those proceeds also benefit the organization.
“Every dollar counts,” Rafe said. “Whatever you can give back, give back. A dollar goes a long way.”