Fairway Philanthropy

Randy McGrane (L) and Ron Guziak share a love of golf and of Sun Health.

Randy McGrane raises awareness and funds for Sun Health Foundation on the golf course 

“Seven rounds of golf.”  That’s how Sun Health Foundation Board of Trustees member Randy McGrane describes the way Ron Guziak, president and CEO of Sun Health, convinced him to join the Sun Health Foundation board in 2011.

Randy is the CEO of Ensemble Real Estate Solutions, which owns medical office buildings across the Valley, and worked with Sun Health for about 20 years.

Their friendship began after a chance meeting at a conference.  Neither Ron nor Randy knew anyone else there.  “It was serendipitous,” Randy says.  “We had just met, and ended up talking and having dinner for about four hours.  That changed my relationship with Sun Health from being a client to wanting to be involved.”

Those rounds of golf helped Randy decide to join the board.  At about the same time, Sun Health resurrected their charity golf tournament.  After the first event, Ron asked Randy to help differentiate Sun Health’s tournament from all the others.  Randy was tapped as the golf committee chair.

There are two purposes to hold a tournament, according to Randy: to raise funds and to raise awareness.  “Golf is very conducive to conversation because you are out there for about four hours, but you are ‘only’ playing the game for about four minutes.  Golfers talk constantly, and I play to support the organization and to tell our story,” he says.

Telling the story also drives planning.  Elizabeth Walton, annual giving program manager for Sun Health Foundation, oversees the golf tournament.  “We get more messaging across at a golf tournament than other events.  That’s why I ask certain people to volunteer so they can discuss their programs on the course,” she says.

Marty Finley, Sun Health’s Memory Care Navigator, played that role perfectly this year.  Randy had been talking about Sun Health’s programs and was about to talk about the Memory Care Navigator when his foursome rolled up to the hole where Finley was volunteering.

“You have your buddies and business colleagues out there, and eventually they are going to ask you what Sun Health is about,” he says.  “That is how you start the conversation.  Having Marty there to tell her story was perfect timing.”

As a follow-up, Randy was able to tell his group how nonprofit Sun Health develops and launches programs benefitting the communities they serve, many at low or no cost to residents, and how that is a great way to invest the resources the organization is blessed with.

“My number one mission is not raising money, although hopefully I contribute in some way,” Randy says.  “I live rather far away from Sun Health, which is embedded in the West Valley.  If you are in Mesa or Phoenix, nobody really knows Sun Health.  I’ve always felt my mission is to raise awareness on a broader basis.  People say “I don’t live in the Sun City area, why should I care about Sun Health?’  I say to them ‘Well, you shouldn’t care about Sun Health unless you don’t plan on aging.  Most people plan on aging.’”

According to Ron, “Golf is a hard game.  When you have success and/or failure from one shot to the next, you are vulnerable.  This creates a dynamic where you begin to know someone at a different level, which forms relationships you can’t duplicate anywhere else.”

“We are social beings and golf is a social event.  There are individuals who wouldn’t support us any other way other than through this tournament,” he added.  “They might not be donors, but they might be our vendors who get to know us better, which helps us build a stronger relationship with them.  Being on the course is only part of it.  Randy really understands creating meaningful and significant relationships, and he knows how to tell a story that engages individuals, which makes him a valuable asset as a board member.”

To learn more: SunHealthFoundation.org or 623-832-5330.

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