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Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Chapter News

July 18, 2003

Long Day for a Good Cause


Contact: Jeff Raskin
(919) 967-5009

Chapel Hill, NC — It was 37 degrees and raining in central North Carolina the morning of April 7th, but in the home of Melanie and Jeff Raskin, the alarm clock, heedless of the weather, sounded loudly at 5:15 a.m. Melanie groaned. Jeff quickly found the off button, a hot shower, two aspirin, and extra clothes in preparation for a very unusual day on a very wet golf course.

On the road by 6:00, Jeff had plenty of time to consider how he had come to be in this situation, staring through a rain-lashed windshield in almost complete darkness and gathering weekday traffic.

Melanie is on the board of HopeLine, a 24-hour crisis intervention service, which sponsors an annual fund-raising event, “The Longest Day of Golf.” Jeff, had volunteered for the event, which requires each participant to play 100 holes of golf (about six trips around an eighteen hole course), and to furnish personal sponsors.

It had seemed like a good idea when he signed up, but with the temperature 25 degrees below the seasonal average and torrential rain falling, the best word Jeff could find to describe it was “foolhardy.” “Surely”, he thought, “they will cancel this thing and wait for a better day…”

At 8:00 a.m., under a leaden sky and persistent rain, he joined nineteen other brave souls decked out in their best water-resistant gear at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club for what proved to be a very long day of golf indeed.

About twelve hours later, water-logged but smiling, Jeff was back home, having played 108 holes (eight more than the required 100), carded three birdies, and added 24 golf balls to his wayward ball collection. Best of all, he met his sponsorship goal of $1,500, thanks to 17 sponsors, including several MCA-I members and other television professionals.

And next year? “Have wet-grip golf gloves, will play,” Jeff smiles. And he plans on pulling together an MCA-I team, golfers who can rotate in and out of the 100 holes throughout the day (and raise even more money for this worthy cause).

HopeLine is the only 24-hour crisis intervention and suicide prevention phone service in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. In “business” for 30 years and staffed primarily by superbly trained volunteers, HopeLine responds to more than 1,000 callers in crisis each month, with calls ranging from depression, alcoholism, and anxiety, to interpersonal problems, suicide, and abuse. The agency also offers Teen TalkLine, a crisis line for teens; PhoneFriend, a line for elementary school children; and the Reassurance Call Program, a daily check-in for elderly people struggling to live independently.

Jeff Raskin is a lifetime MCA-I member, having joined in 1984, and a former Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill chapter president. He is the owner of N8Cutter, a full-service post production and consultation company founded in 1996. Jeff began his career in communications in 1972, when tubes were as important as transistors. He has been golfing since the age of eight. His best 18 hole score: – 77 (white tees, 6113 yards, slope 123, par 72); current handicap: 18.

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