With golf on the horizon, Cancer Pathways’ Shayla Ring and Board President Dave Raney sat down to talk tournament. Get to know what the annual Bryce Fisher Golf Tournament is all about, its impact over the last decade-and-a-half, and what we’re looking forward to most this year.
Tell me a little bit about how you got involved with Cancer Pathways and what led you to joining the board?
Bryce Fisher is one of my oldest friends and football teammates. I came to realize the impact that Cancer Pathways had on his family as they were dealing with his Mom’s diagnosis. His Mom has always been an important person in my family’s life. When Bryce returned to Seattle to play for the Seahawks, he told me he was going to do everything he could to get behind Cancer Pathways to give back what the organization meant to him and to pay it forward. And I was all in on helping him with his tournament.
Shortly after the tournament we both joined the board. It’s an amazing organization and an amazing cause. If you’ve met our founder and executive director Anna Gottlieb, you’ll understand that even more. Her passion for helping the cancer community is contagious, and she’s very hard to say no to.
I’ve chaired the board for a number of years, and Bryce has been on the board for a number of years as well. And there are board members that have been on since day one, and to me that says a lot about this organization.
Let’s talk a little bit about the impact you’ve seen from the Golf Tournament.
There’s a number of different ways that I’ve seen this impact play out. My company, Sound Community Bank, is a good example of businesses and communities coming together. We wholeheartedly believe in supporting our communities, and that healthy communities make for healthy economies. We have really deeply held values that take the idea of sustainability beyond the walls of just our company and include doing our part to support non-profits like Cancer Pathways.
I’ve been so blessed to watch our employees, leadership team, and directors adopt many organizations like Cancer Pathways and share greatly of their time and talent and treasure.
This tournament is a really special way to show this. Bryce has worked his tail off to forge honest and organic relationships with every sponsor, company, and person involved in making our tournament happen.
If you’ve attended the golf tournament, I would wager a bet that throughout any of the last decade and a half there is a 99 percent chance that you’ve shaken Bryce’s hand and my hand. That Bryce has thanked you personally. You’ve likely seen the big guy take a swing or two with your group. This is rare. I’ve played in a lot of tournaments and for many you might get a chance to see the guy who’s name is on the tournament, or maybe you’ll hear him speak. But here, if you’ve played in our tournament you have spent some time with Bryce and been told “thank you” personally. I guarantee it.
So I think the result is a very intimate feel. I think it’s easy. I think Bryce would agree. Cancer Pathways is such a powerful organization, we just try to make it easy for businesses and individuals to hear the message.
This place means a great deal to him. It’s contagious when you get around the organization. We’ve always enjoyed giving people a chance to experience the magic that you guys do day in and day out up there.
This will be the 16th year the golf tournament has gone on. What is it about the tournament that makes it so successful and such a staple for Cancer Pathways’ fundraising?
It’s kind of embarrassingly simple. Bryce asks the same couple of things at the start of every tournament of the last fifteen years. Two of them are: have a lot of fun, and learn something about Cancer Pathways before you leave.
Again, the mission of the organization is so powerful. People are genuinely moved, they realize the value of having Cancer Pathways in their communities. All we do is try to provide the right combination of food, drink, and fellowship, coupled with Bryce getting up close and personal with anybody who’s been gracious with anybody who’s been gracious enough to spend time at our tournament. It’s been a winning formula for Cancer Pathways, which of course is a winning formula for our communities.
We have some businesses that sponsored us in the past because they knew a friend of a friend, or they wanted to meet some Seahawks. These are now organic, decades-long relationships that are mutually beneficial for Cancer Pathways and their sponsors. It’s a winning combination for the city, and for our local economy as well.
What are you looking forward to most about this year’s tournament?
The fellowship. I think we’re all hungry for community as we’ve learned from the pandemic. I’m looking forward to seeing people on a sunny day in Seattle.
I’m also really excited, we’ve got some surprise visitors this year in the form of our Camp Sparkle kids which is by far my favorite thing about Cancer Pathways.
You remember when I said if you played in our tournament you had a 99% chance that we’ve shaken your hand, and said thank you, and you hung out with Bryce. The one percent chance that you didn’t would have been the year that the Camp Sparkle kids were there. Bryce, myself and everybody else were hanging out with these kids all day. They stole the show.
It’s such an amazing journey that these kids go through in the short week that they’re with us as campers and so if I’m being honest I’m really excited that they’re going to spend an hour or two on the golf course with us this year.
If you were to pitch this to someone who is new and this would be their first year signing up, and they also don’t do a lot of golf, how would you rope them in?
There are very few resources for cancer education and there are very few resources for emotional support, and community and family support that go along with a cancer diagnosis. So that’s one.
Two, if you like an organization where you’re more than just a check, you are going to have the opportunity to get in the trenches with us. You’re going to meet Anna, our executive director, you’re going to meet members of our board. If it’s at the golf tournament you’re going to meet Bryce. You’ll hear our story, why we’re doing this, why he’s doing this. You’ll meet some of the Seahawks legends that show up year after year after year to this tournament. They all have stories about why they choose to come back and help.
If you get behind us you’ll be a part of that. For me anyways that always left me feeling much more fulfilled than just stroking a check, you can do that too, but it’s so much more.
It’s a tight knit group. Great captains of industry and great people. A lot of bad knees and bad shoulders. Old athletes like myself walking around. It’s just a lot of fun for a great cause.
Our 16th annual Bryce Fisher Golf Tournament takes place Friday, July 14th at the Golf Club at Newcastle. Register now for a day of fellowship, fundraising, and – of course – fun.
Dave Raney has been a member of our board for over twenty years. He was first introduced to Cancer Pathways through close friend Bryce Fisher. Dave is the Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Officer of Sound Community Bank.