Finding Purpose and Community Through Golf
The mission of Balance & Believe is to provide an immersive educational experience that includes components focused on philanthropy, nutrition, fitness, and mental acuity. We know that an effective balance of these components will empower our students to succeed at life, and if desired their chosen sport.
Balance and Believe was founded in 2014 by Derek and Christina Schnarr, after many years of sharing unique and creative ways to give back in their community and being an example for that community of the true power of good. Derek and Christina feel strongly that for anyone to reach their full potential they must first achieve “balance.” This journey is about the word Balance. Everything we do is about Balance. Balance your checkbook. Balance when you walk. Balance when you eat and balance when you sleep. Balance on the golf course and Balance off it. If we swing 50 times right handed then we will swing 50 times left handed. Balance!
The program is designed to help students assess where their unbalance lies and provide the roadmap of what’s required of them to achieve this balance and be the best version of themselves. It’s custom to each individual, because we all have different starting points, but the mental, physical, emotional, social and athletic status of your life will develop in a positive direction through their program’s guidance. The next important piece is to Believe. If we don’t believe it, how can we achieve it? If I’m not my biggest fan who’s going to be? If I don’t know where I am how will I know where to go?
They also feel very strongly that many kids today have become disconnected from the real world. To that end, this program strongly encourages the participants to “give back” through various philanthropic endeavors. Since our inception of Balance & Believe (under the direction of our Junior Disspural Committee), we have supported many causes, but two of our most prominent include the Carbone Cancer Institute and Madison City Schools.
When the Bucket of Hope was first started, one of the original causes that the donations were made to was Cancer Research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. Since the Bucket of Hope evolved into the Balance & Believe Foundation, Cancer Research has remained a consistent issue that the Foundation contributes to. In 2016, we started an event called "The Longest Day of Golf". Some of the most well-known Junior Golfers in Madison teamed up and played as many holes as they possibly could in one day, with donations being made by individuals and businesses. All of the donations were given to Cancer Research at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Additionally, in 2016, the Balance & Believe Foundation decided to look into poverty and homelessness in the Madison area. What we found was that there was a much larger amount of homeless children in the Madison School System than expected, and we wanted to help. Starting with the Falk Elementary School in early 2016, the Foundation began to build food pantries and resource centers at schools all around the Madison area. The needs of each and every school are different, and the Foundation has been working in close correlation with multiple schools to find out what they need. Money for the food pantries and resource centers was raised by the Foundation through multiple events, and donations from our TV show, Tee to Green and their sponsors, along with a grant from the Steve Stricker Foundation.