Dear GreatLIFE Member, Team Member & Support Team, 

  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving week with family and friends! My family has been blessed to have all four of our kids, their spouses and children, living here in Sioux Falls. We are able to share not only holidays, but everyday activities like their sports and arts activities. When I look at how things are changing with so many single parents, both parents working and the pressure of social media, fewer and fewer kids and families get to experience what we took for granted as kids.  

   With our GreatLIFE Cares Foundation we have been very involved with the school systems here in Sioux Falls with our PLAYEverything program, Youth Entrepreneur program, Boys & Girls Club, TeamMates Mentoring, Feeding South Dakota and Coats for Kids program. We have the opportunity to positively impact these kids and families in giving them a sense of hope and a chance for the American Dream. 

    After our son became CEO for our Burger King Restaurants, I got pushed into the golf business and really focused on making our Willow Run Golf Course a first-class operation. The golf architect we hired was out of Kansas City and spoke of a concept that had developed of the Topeka area called GreatLIFE. I went down and took a look at his concept and thought it would be great for Sioux Falls. With PGA pro Mike Malaska, we developed the PLAY Everything program where we show kids the connectivity of sports. Now we are involved in 20 golf courses, +20 fitness centers and Suburban Family Bowling Center as we hit our 10th anniversary. We even have reciprocity with three courses in the Phoenix area as well as several in Kansas. 

    As we grew and saw the impact GreatLIFE was having on getting so many families out doing things together, it inspired us to do even more and the GreatLIFE Cares Foundation was created. We have over thirty charitable and civic organization that we support through awareness, programing and financially. Recently one of our daughters, Molly Christainson, joined as Executive Director for GreatLIFE Cares Foundation and has been a delight to work with. 

   As I have entered the back nine of my life, I have found that I get more out of the good and GreatLIFE does than the recipient. It makes me and everyone around me better and more grateful for what we have been blessed with. Several years ago, I read an article about happiness titled “The pursuit of meaning, not happiness is what makes life incredibly better”.  It is the journey, not the destination that gives your life meaning and fulfillment. 

  At GreatLIFE, our mission is “To enrich the lives of families and individuals through golf, fitness and healthy lifestyles”.  We felt that with a mission to improve the quality of life for families, kids and individuals, we could attract some of the best people who wanted to make a difference and a positive impact with them. So, it has been and will continue to be, a worthwhile and wonderful journey that we are on together.  Looking forward to the future together! 

    This time of year, I am asked what I would like for Christmas and I say the same thing as I have in the past. These “gifts” don’t cost anything financially but can be rewarding for others and myself, These “gifts” can be shared all year long. These “gifts” are: 

  • Wish people a Merry Christmas with a big smile. 
  • Smile more, use please and thank you more. 
  • Show a little more kindness and patience with others. 
  • Give a few more sincere compliments. 
  • Have an “Attitude of Gratitude” for all you have been blessed with. 
  • Tell and show the people you care for and love how important they are to you. 
  • Treat people with respect and appreciation. 
  • Become and organ donor and donate blood. 

I am so thankful for you joining us. Thanks for being a GreatLIFE Member, Team Member and Support Team! The Lou Holtz video is about 9 minutes long but I guarantee you’ll enjoy it! 

                                      Tom Sr 

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