Fairway to Equality tees off at Indian Creek Golf Course on Sept. 30

DAVID TAFFET | Senior Staff Writer

Fairway to Equality tees off for the 26th time at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, and this year the golf tournament that benefits the Human Rights Campaign returns to Indian Creek Golf Course in Carrollton.

Fairway to Equality is the largest HRC fundraiser in the country that doesn’t involve a sit-down dinner — like Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner — and, over the years, it has raised well over $1 million for the organization. Fairway to Equality has helped keep Dallas as HRC’s largest donor city.

Just as popular as the actual tournament is the Calcutta, Caddy and Team Auction, being held this year at Sue Ellen’s at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 24. Participants can bid on a caddy package, and everyone can bid on the team they think will win the tournament.

The live auction at the Calcutta includes an African safari trip as well as a number of short getaways and staycations, according to co-chair Elizabeth Rodriguez.

Comedian Dana Goldberg, who has entertained and successfully served as auctioneer at Black Tie Dinner several times, will fly in to serve the same role at the Calcutta.

A caddy auction pairs community leaders and offers them up for bid. Golfers can purchase the services of caddies, who will help team members throughout the course of play, making sure they have drinks and anything else they might need.

WFAA Daybreak reporter Megan Mitchell is among the caddies who will be auctioned, and the winning team will also be invited to take a tour of the Channel 8 studios.

Before play begins on the day of the tournament, there will be a helicopter ball drop raffle. You can buy one of 300 numbered balls that will be dropped from a helicopter onto a putting green, and the first ball in the hole — or if no ball lands in the hole, the closest ball to it — wins its owner a $1,000 Visa gift card, Rodriguez said. You don’t have to be present to win.

The tee guess is another fundraising game that anyone can participate in. Rodriguez said for this year’s tournament, she just got a new jug and has filled it with tees, and she’s the only one who knows how many are in it. The person who comes closest to guessing the number of tees in the jug will win restaurant gift cards and an annual HRC membership or renewal.

The tournament welcomes all levels of golfers, but Rodriguez warned there are only a limited number of spots still open. Registration will close when they hit 36 foursomes for a total of 144 golfers.

The day ends with a dinner and awards reception.

“We’re still looking for volunteers,” Rodriguez said. That involves three shifts before and during the tournament — set-up, mid-shift and ending shift. Volunteers work different holes throughout the day measuring the longest putt and setting up and running games at various holes.

To volunteer, contact co-chairs Jamie Duggan at jd@dugganfamilylaw.com or Elizabeth Rodriguez at rodriguez.eliz@gmail.com.