To grow the sport of disc golf by sharing the bountiful benefits of disc golf to all individuals
that would like additional tools to cope with the ever changing challenges of life.
On October 30, 2012 Grant Gottschalk took his life. Tom Gottschalk, his father, has said if
Grant had not been introduced to disc golf that he feels that Grant may have taken his life sooner.
This is the foundation for the creation of The Flippin’ Sweet Mentoring Program which is partnering
with the KC Disc Golf Divas, Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the
Flippin Sweet Memorial Disc Golf Tournament for Suicide Prevention to offer
any individual the opportunity to learn the joys of disc golf.
Our vision is to help any individual learn disc golf as a form of expression to assist in handling the pressures of life,
as a place to gather for support and friendship and a place to exercise and enjoy being outside.
Today our family is growing even stronger.
We truly have become an army against suicide prevention and depression awareness.
Who is Flippin’ Sweet?
Flippin’ Sweet is not who but what! It’s a community of friends that are close as family.
We continue to grow, bringing in new friends and family daily at times.
Sadly, some have come to us from their own tragic loss.
Others have come to us because of their love for disc golf.
However, we started with Connor Mitts, Susan Mitts, Tom Gottschalk and John Erickson.
Connor Mitts is a student at Colorado State University.
He is a crazy good disc golfer and childhood friend of both Tom Karlin and Grant Gottschalk.
Connor wanted to do something to memorialize his friends by sharing the love of disc golf.
Born in 2013 was the Flippin’ Sweet Disc Golf Memorial Tournament.
Tom Gottschalk, Grant’s dad, is a disc golf enthusiast himself.
He walks and talks disc golf. He also works for the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office.
Susan Mitts is a mother, Recreation Therapist, was a paraprofessional for Shawnee Mission School District,
disc golf mom to Connor Mitts, and wife of Doug Mitts, Realtor.
The Mitts Home Team, Keller Williams Realty Partners, Inc.
has been a platinum supporter of The Flippin’ Sweet Suicide Prevention
Memorial Disc Golf Tournament since the beginning in 2014.
The Mitts Family Foundation is also our 501c3 affiliation.
John D. Erickson, a self-proclaimed, native Johnson County “brat” as he calls himself,
has had several aliases such as
John the Marketing Guy and John the Alarm Guy.
John was an owner and Vice President of Atronic Alarms Inc.,
where he worked for 25 years until being diagnosed with Lyme Disease.
Unable to work, he increased his focus on his passion for youth baseball and after
Tom and Grant’s deaths, suicide prevention.
How we will do that?
The Flippin’ Sweet family as mentioned in the Vision above is totally committed to making this mentoring program
work. We will be hands on at all events maintaining it’s safety, privacy and the integrity of every individual.
Our goal is to bring together for the first time ever a unique group of caring individuals that want to help.
The first group is part of the disc golf community, The KC Disc Golf Divas.
They are a group of female, seasoned disc golfers that are well known for their community involvement.
They have offered to come and mentor any individuals on a regular basis.
Also, there will be other pro disc golfers and other skill levels of disc golfers.
The idea is to approach this as “group” mentoring which has a two-fold effect.
One is that everyone learns differently and at different levels/speeds.
Secondly, when a learning opportunity comes up one of the mentors may have another approach.
Besides there is comfort and safety in having a small group.
We hope to have in all groups disc golfers that have some counseling and suicide and depression awareness skills.
If needed and desired an individual could benefit from the outdoors,
the fresh air and the non-threatening insights that such a person could provide.
This is why the Johnson County Suicide Prevention Coalition is deeply involved.
What we plan to happen
We are planning for our program to be a group mentoring program with skilled individuals in both disc golf
and counseling. For safety we will have a security/background company
run background checks on each mentor.
We will also ask each mentor to commit to staying involved through out the “season”.
When we say, “Season” we are speaking of a typical disc golf season which is approximately
March to October, since we’d like to reach the fall school year and youth groups from various churches.
We are going to reach out to disc golf manufacturers and others in the industry to
request donations for disc golf equipment.
We hope and feel this will be received extremely well since many in the sport
want to see the sport grow as well as help any individual that might need help.
We have yet to determine a final location or how often we will meet.
An example, though, might be to meet at Lenexa Disc Golf Park every third Wednesday of the month.
With that in mind, we will need a sign up sheet of participants which we will do online.
Things in the future to consider
- We would hope that after we work the kinks out that we could possibly start other groups throughout the city.
- Bring in other disc golf clubs.
- Receive grants, donations, and to get sponsorship’s-even get a disc made with our logo on it.
- Our crystal ball goal is to dream big and have this
become a template for the program to be adopted nationally.
- Since this is literally at the ground floor we are open to and wanting input.
- There is no hierarchy, your idea is as important as anyone’s and will be reviewed as such.
How you can help
- Compassionate, skilled disc golfers to be mentors.
- Knowing that they will have a monthly commitment and possibly would want to take a day’s training*
- Donations; discs, disc bags, money for materials for promotion to youth groups & schools.
- Food/beverages for regular events.
- Social Media and web assistance.
- Networking-Who you know and word-of-mouth will help the most.