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Resin Resource CEO Heads Charity for Homeless Teens

It may have started as a selfish motive, but it has turned into a growing phenomenon.  “This is the only program in the country with multiple initiatives that fill the needs of leadership, education and the physical basics of children,” explains Chris Allen, chairman of the La Buena Vida Foundation. “We are not only giving them a fish; we are teaching them how to fish.”

The idea of the foundation was conceived at the 2009 La Buena Bola, the annual Men’s Member Guest Golf Tournament at Las Colinas Country Club, among a group of Members and participants who wanted to start a caddy program at the club.  Once the actual ideas began to take some action, the outcome was no where near its preconceived notion.

“We soon realized we were in a unique position to make an impact on a real problem,” states Allen.
 The foundation, which exists to improve the lives of the underprivileged and youth in need in the Irving area, has grown immensely in the small time it has been established.  By creating two initiatives, the group is able to assist a larger area of youth in need.  Playing Through is a giving initiative to benefit those youth that struggle with adversity in their everyday lives and empower them for future success.  This initiative has two programs: The Main Place and the La Buena Vida House. 
The Main Place was founded and supported by the Irving Women’s Network and is a distribution center for new clothing for homeless Irving high school students.  In June of this year, the La Buena Vida Foundation took over financial and operational responsibilities for the Main Place, partnering with Advocates for Homeless Teens, Irving ISD and the Irving Women’s Network to assist homeless students. The Main Place is located in Downtown Irving and will soon serve as the Foundation’s headquarters.
The La Buena Vida House is a project currently in the planning stages for 2011.  The Foundation is working with the City of Irving, the Mayor’s Office, Advocates for Homeless Teens and other organizations to acquire land to build a residence center for homeless teens in the Irving ISD. 
The second initiative, Leaderboard, was designed to establish leadership skills in the youth and develop a mentoring initiative.  The Leaderboard is comprised of three programs: The Front Nine, College for Caddies, and Fairways and Dreams.  These programs are set to implement in 2011.
The Front Nine is a 9-month program designed to develop leadership in the youth through principles related to golf; Integrity, Etiquette, Team Work, Decision Making.  College for Caddies is a scholarship program for qualified students who have taken part in the leadership development.  Fairways and Dreams is a summer camp designed to focus on the youth in need with the help of corporate partners.
The first official fundraising event was the 2010 La Buena Bola at Las Colinas Country Club.  The goal was to raise $25,000 to go to the La Buena Vida Foundation.  Through the efforts of numerous members, affiliates and the La Buena Vida Foundation, the event raised $60,000.
Allen commented, “Anytime you impact the lives of youth, which are our future leaders, you are doing a greater good for the community.”
The La Buena Vida Foundation is comprised of Board of Directors who firmly believe in their efforts to improve the youth population.  The Board includes Chris Allen, Chairman; Rob McCormick, Vice-Chair; Mikel Bowers, Secretary; Bill Caton, Treasurer; Victoria Wilson, Audit Committee Chair; Beth Grimsley, Nominating & Board Development Chair; Sharon Johnston, Playing Through Co-Chair; Robert Singletary, Board Advisor; and Ron Woolard, Board Advisor.
The La Buena Vida Foundation is growing at a rapid rate and needs constant assistance of support through donations and volunteers.  The foundation has already made a profound impact in the lives of many youth and hopes to only continue in their endeavor.
“We realized that there is a bigger problem and just maybe this is the journey we were supposed to take together ” states Allen.  “It’s not about where you start, but about where you end up.”

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