I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. – BrenéBrown
Each packed hitting bay on Top Golf’s first floor emanated an exhilarating energy as seniors from seven Birmingham City high schools networked with local partners. Departing from Game Night’s recent family feud tradition, Development Manager, Brad Jennings, organized the annual fundraiser at Top Golf, creating a relaxed, engaging environment for relationships new and old to grow through community and competition. Students from a wide variety of Birmingham City schools joined together to compete on teams with executives from Regions, UAB, Engel Realty, C-Spire, SlateXP, Birmingham Athletic Partnership, American’s First Federal Credit Union, The Edit with MDL, Oakworth, Jones Walker, Christian & Smalls, and other community leaders. “Every time someone came down here, you could feel the energy,” exclaimed a Top Golf worker.
Golfers young and old, experienced and novice teed off together with a common purpose
to invest in Birmingham and its students through education and community. Deana Williams, a senior at Huffman High School, had never golfed before, but enjoyed “trying something new with new people,” and discovering unforeseen commonalities. After two hours of golfing and talking, the players crowded around the high-topped tables, erupting into thunderous drum rolls and applause as Executive Director, JW Carpenter, announced the afternoon’s winners. Raising more money at this event than ever before, Ed received enough donations to provide each student in attendance with $250. Jocelyn May, first place runner-up and Jackson-Olin High School student, shares that her favorite part of the afternoon was learning how to play golf, and she looks forward to Ed’s different field trips for the upcoming year. First place winner Cameron Calvin, enrolled at Huffman High School, enjoyed the experience and appreciates how Ed “opens people’s eyes to what they might want to do.” As the evening came to its close with last minute photo ops and celebration, a contented calm fell over the floor. Whether people stayed for the full time or only a few moments, Ed Family Game Night ensured that each person walked away feeling seen, heard, and valued.
Top Golf Winners:
4THPlace: Kaleb Long – Ramsay ($1,000)
3RD Place: Davon Young – Parker ($1,500)
2NDPlace: Jocelyn May – Jackson-Olin ($2,500)
1STPlace: Cameron Calvin – Huffman ($5,000)
To support Birmingham Ed’s mission to empower students by improving educational opportunities, maximizing impact, and unifying the city’s diverse network, and to increase the number of scholarships it gives, visit: edgamenight.swell.gives.