Michelle Riddick is the co-founder of the L.E.E. Way Foundation alongside her son, NBA star Damion Lee of the Phoenix Suns.

“We're committed to making a positive impact in the lives of youth, creating a nurturing environment in whatever we do. Whether it's a camp... a basketball clinic, giving funds, partnering with the schools to do a dance, we've done mental health things. And it's just: how can we give back to them in a charitable way and do educational opportunities as well?” Michelle explained.

With Damion’s background, she added, “we use basketball as a tool, because he’s a basketball player and that's how most people know him. So that kind of opens the door for people to come in and say, ‘hey, we want to work with you’.”

With Damion’s background, she added, “we use basketball as a tool, because he’s a basketball player and that's how most people know him. So that kind of opens the door for people to come in and say, ‘hey, we want to work with you’.”

So, in 2022, they decided to tap into Damion’s passion for another sport – golf – to help them fuel their lifechanging initiatives even further. “My son is a golf enthusiast,” Michelle told us.

Hence, the L.E.E. Way Foundation Golf Scramble was born. Last year, their inaugural tournament held at the University of Louisville Golf Club brought out some of the biggest names in the NBA and even saw an appearance from the Larry O’Brien Trophy!

Damion Lee posing with the Larry O'Brien Trophy and golfers

L.E.E. Way Foundation Golf Tournament Website

Having had so much success from their first tournament and seeing how much potential that golf offers for raising funds, the foundation has added an additional event this year in a Top Golf format.

Watch the video and read on as we explore Michelle’s experience as a new organizer – from choosing Event Caddy’s platform to support their efforts to lessons she’s learned along the way.

Why they chose a golf tournament fundraiser: “It’s something you can do for years upon years... you don’t need to reinvent the wheel”

“My son... he loves golf... and we’ve been able to do things in the past with golf tournaments. And I've been to John Stark’s... casino night he does before (his annual golf tournament). And he does it every year and I hear what a success it is. And I feel like from people I've spoken with, if you do it correctly, it becomes a success. And it's something you can do for years upon years. And after a while it's just wash, rinse, repeat. You're really not having to so much groundwork because you've done it in the beginning... Of course, you’ll little tweak things from time to time, however, but it's not like you need to reinvent the wheel.”

Michelle Riddick

Why Michelle chose Event Caddy: “It was a no-brainer”

The level of customer service. “Liam has been so great the past two years. Liam reached out, we had conversations... it was just a no-brainer when I talked to him on the phone. He was so nice, willing to help... He's helped me figure out what needs to be done. So I would say they're very helpful in the front end and even Dane, very helpful.”

The built-in email marketing tools. “The emails are wonderful... to do an email blast. You can send that to all participants, you can write stuff to sponsors as well.”

"It's just easy! Once you start the process, it’s easy.”

Michelle’s advice to other new organizers

Know your format. “I would say, know if you're going to have a golf scramble or golf tournament, that's big, because rules are different for both... and depend what part of the country you’re in.”

Know your fundraising goal. “And then how you go about raising the money, besides getting sponsors. Tap into everyone you know, even a friend, because you never know – someone might give you $500.”

Find creative ways to involve your community or cause on the green. “Last year... there’s this thing called First Tee, and that's where they teach young people how to golf... We were able to sponsor eight youth and they were able to play that day. So just figure out who you want to sponsor in the beginning. We already know – we worked with First Tee last year, we want to work with them again this year. We want to give eight kids a chance to go out and play. So those kinds of things that you may not realize, are how you're giving back to the... community.”

Damion Lee posing with Larry O'Brien trophy with kids

“Plan your work, work your plan". I was told this in nursing school... So whatever you decide on, plan it out and then work. Once you've done it, just keep doing the successful things that you've done. A big thing is to debrief with your team... we waited a couple weeks so everyone can really have a chance to think of what we could have done better. And then we had a meeting and we debrief and then we were able to go over it. We have to find a way to make this... even more successful.”

Family of four at golf tournament

A huge thank you to Michelle, Damion and the entire L.E.E. Way Golf Scramble team for all you do to give back to youth in your community. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish with your 2023 tournament!