Play Mini-Golf, Help Fund Future Foster Care Facility

Miniature golf enthusiasts can tee up their colored golf balls this Saturday, September 7, while helping a great cause.

The Open Door House, a new nonprofit that wants to offer housing, counseling, and other assistance to local young men and women once they’ve aged out of foster care, is holding a Mini Golf Tournament from 2 to 4 p.m. at The Lost Duffer Miniature Golf, located at 110 Barton Creek Drive in Charlotte.

Tickets are $20 per adult, and $10 for children ages 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased on The Open Door House website,, through 5 p.m. this Thursday, September 5.

Teams are now being organized and can feature anywhere from four to eight people each. Smaller groups will also be accommodated.

Kathy Miller-Lista of Harrisburg, who stepped away from a career with Bassett Furniture to start her nonprofit last year, said a company-sponsored service project in Florida inspired her to take action. In 2015, she and other employees helped furnish and decorate an apartment for two young women who had aged out of the foster care system.

The apartment was provided by the Villages of Hope, a nonprofit providing independent living support and essential life-skills development programming for foster children and other homeless youth in need of assistance in the Palm Beach area. As happens with most foster children, the two young women no longer wanted to be part of an organized care system once they turned 19, so they sought refuge from the nonprofit.

Inspired by what she had witnessed, Ms. Miller-Lista returned to her hometown and made an alarming discovery: There wasn’t a single organization offering such services operating within Cabarrus County.

After some additional research, the mother of two learned how the opioid crisis was driving up foster rates both locally and throughout the country. She also learned that roughly 20 percent of young men who opt out of organized foster care after turning 19 end up homeless, while most young women who end up on the street have, on average, approximately 48 hours before they become sex-trafficking victims.

“It’s scary. It’s heartbreaking,” Ms. Miller-Lista said. “For me, when I was in Villages of Hope, and we were in that apartment, I just kept thinking that these could be my kids.”

Her long-term vision is to create a campus setting somewhere in Cabarrus County, a facility similar to those offered in Florida by Villages of Hope. She wants to provide a place where young men and women who have aged out of foster care can continue to grow and learn the life skills needed to succeed, all within a nurturing and protective setting.

Please visit The Open Door House website,, to purchase tickets for Saturday’s fundraiser, or learn more about Ms. Miller-Lista and her organization.

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