Every year, the CAI Southeast Florida Chapter hosts a golf event and donates a portion of the proceeds to a local charity. But this year was different.

When the lives of 17 students and faculty members were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, community members were struck with shock and sorrow. Among them was Steve G. Mason, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, Atlantic Pacific Management, in Palm Beach, Fla. Mason, a CAI Southeast Florida Chapter board member and chair of the chapter’s golf committee, knew he had to do something.

We recently caught up with Mason to talk about the tragedy and the steps he took to help.

How did the tragedy impact you?
When the incident occurred, it struck close to home. My wife is a Marjory Stoneman Douglas graduate and, one day, our three little kids will attend this high school. My wife is a local elementary school teacher, and my sister is a local high school teacher. We have friends who teach there.

For the chapter event this year, we decided to hold a fundraiser for the school. There was full support and excitement among all chapter board members to be able to give back after the tragedy.

Freshman teacher Felicia Burgin set up a meeting for me with the Assistant Principal Denise Reed. I wanted to know where the money would be going and exactly what the students and faculty needed to get through this recovery period. The school’s staff was thrilled to hear about the fundraiser.

How did the event go?
Since we cover such a large area, the chapter caters its events to benefit our various communities. This year’s event, on April 7, was our best turnout in history, made possible with the support of our business partners. It included 152 golfers, and every sponsorship category was sold.

I wouldn’t have been able to coordinate and execute this event without my platform at CAI. I’ve been a Southeast Florida Chapter board member for 10 years and chaired this golf committee for the past eight years. This event was extra meaningful for my family.

We raised $12,000. The money will go toward activities, comfort animals, supplies, and overall assistance for the school.

Laura Otto

Laura Otto

Laura Otto is the senior editor of CAI’s award-winning Community Manager. A seasoned journalist, Laura previously worked for a creative, advocacy agency in Washington, D.C., where she wrote and edited content for a variety of public health clients. Prior to that Laura served as a senior writer and editor for the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Laura is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. She currently resides in Alexandria, Va., with her husband and two small children.

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