DETROIT – As the coronavirus flipped the world upside down, Carl Rose Jr. of Carl’s Golfland was thinking about a myriad of things.
Primary among them was family, a legacy of giving back established by his parents, the overwhelmed health care system in the Detroit area and about responsible golf retail messaging in an unprecedented time.
“When this started shutting things down we were not able to take down all of our advertising and marketing with golf right away, and of course our message has always been centered on fun,” he said.
“That didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like the time to talk about fun or be funny. I’m a golf person, a retailer and I want people to feel good about what they see in our messaging. My parents taught me to take responsibility, so I knew we had to change the messaging and help others.”
Rose has started a social media fundraising movement called #ShankThisVirus to benefit local medical facility efforts and the American Red Cross.
He asked his partners from Perich Advertising + Design and SeyferthPr to help come up with an appropriate message and that message is playing out on Carl’s Golfland’s website, social media channels, television and more. All proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward shanking the virus through health care channels.
#ShankThisVirus T-Shirts are available HERE on CarlsGolfland.com. The cost is $18.
“And not one dollar of it is going to Carl’s Golfland,” Rose said. “Every cent is going to the people in health care who are on the front lines dealing with this virus every day.”
Proceeds from T-shirt sales support;
- Henry Ford Health System Donate Here;
- Hurley Medical Center – #ShankThisVirus COVID Support Fund Donate Here ;
- St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital – #ShankThisVirus COVID Support Fund Donate Here;
- Say Detroit Health Clinic Operated by Detroit Rescue Ministries Donate Here;
- American Red Cross Donate Here.
“Let’s spread the right message, let’s make a difference in our community, let’s help save Detroit, help the Red Cross and these great front-line health systems with our charity component,” he said. “Perich and SeyferthPR cooked this up, and it blew me away. This is exactly the message I wanted to have out there. This is a way we can help.”
Rose is humbled by the people responding in just the first week.
“The reactions are coming through Facebook and Instagram, but people have also written to me online and I’ve tried to respond back and thank them for the kind words,” he said. “The response has been pretty overwhelming.”
Carl’s Golfland is a major sponsor of tournaments and is an advertising partner with the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM), and Chris Whitten, the executive director of the GAM, said the association supports the #ShankThisVirus movement.
“Carl’s has been a great partner of the GAM for several years and always supported amateur golf,” he said. “A lot of people in the golf world right now are looking for positive news. This concept is great because it brings the golf community together to show support for the people who are battling the virus on our behalf. We saw he was spreading the word, and we’re happy to help with that.”
Rose’s parents started Carl’s Golfland 61 years ago. His father, Carl Sr., passed away on March 5. He said this is the kind of thing his father would have supported without hesitation.
“My dad was larger than life to me,” he said. “He was my educator, my role model, my best buddy and he created something special. They started with a driving range and I remember my mom out picking balls in the mud with my sisters. That’s not a fun job. They did it though, and together they built a business and gave back to the community in any way they could.
“All that kind of stuff was going through my head because of this virus and I knew I had to help in any way I could, and I thought this is what they would do, and this is a way to honor them.”
The family approach is the Carl’s Golfland approach, and Rose said the people you work with are family.
“You are around them more than you are your family at home,” he said. “So, we’re taking care of family, and doing something to help others. On March 5 when my dad passed the world flipped on me, and on March 16 when the order came out to shut things down, the world flipped again.
“I thought with all the training dad, you didn’t teach me this one where the world shuts down. I could sure use your council right now. Hey, I am blessed. I can close my eyes and still ask my dad questions and I find an answer. This is the answer.”
Rose said he is writing a check this week to the Say Detroit Health Clinic.
“We are writing checks to help people feel better, to help the doctors, nurses, all those first responders who are putting their life on the lines for us,” he said.
“I’m just trying not to screw this up, follow my dad’s basic principles and treat people the way I want to be treated like my mother taught me,” he said. “We’ll get our range back open, our stores open and we will golf again when we get through this. This, too, shall pass and we will get to enjoy the game we all love. But first, we’ve got to help out.”
-Greg Johnson, [email protected]