Healthy Hollywood: The Healthy Benefits Of Good Friends

In the quest for good health, many folks spend hours in the gym, try to eat right and are always on the hunt for the next self-help guru. But, we might overlook a simple yet powerful weapon that could help us all feel good and live a longer life – friendship!

Yup, it’s true! Study after study shows a solid social network boosts your overall well-being. Now, that’s what friends are for.

Healthy Hollywood got a good reminder of the importance of friends over the Fourth of July weekend, as I spent my vacation in Bay View, Michigan. I met up with a group of guys who define a healthy network and showed me how their bond can help out a community.

Joe Schmuckler, Brooks McGee, Mike Davis and Doug Vandevelde have combined their love of golf, their give-back spirit and their friendship to create the annual Bay View Open, which is a golf tournament that raises money for the local Boys and Girls Club.

“We share many of the same values and mostly our love for Bay View and what it has done for our families. So the Bay View Open (BVO) is an event that we can all count on to bring us together, bask in the fellowship, and know it’s for a good cause as well,” states Doug to Healthy Hollywood.

Brooks adds, “I think the fact of the four of us married into Bay View and did not grow up there is also special. It made me feel less like an outsider and to find 3 other lifelong friends in Joe, Mike, and Doug who were also “outsiders” was special to me.”

Joe tells me his good buddies mean more to him as he gets older, adding, “Friends and family are really the most important things that comes out of a fulfilled life. Good friendships and close family are really the only people there for you when you are down and they can help celebrate when things are good. Can you imagine life being lonelier than not having these relationships in your life? “

According to studies, friendships can help you age more successfully, boost your immune system and help achieve your weight and fitness goal. And, certainly golf is the game that bonds players; as my Dad often said, “You can really get to know someone’s character on the golf course.”

“Men, women, young, old, all different personalities come together and share the same frustrations, highs and lows, in the game of golf. I find that conversations are not the intense but full of content. You really know a lot about someone when you are done playing with them even though there was never any intense discussion,” notes Joe.

So, it makes sense, the BVO was created by these guys relaxing on porch four years ago. It was after a long day of golf, they brainstormed how to enrich their friendship and at the same give a little something back to the community where they all met.

“The players look forward to fellowship with friends that we generally only see during the summer months. More importantly, however, the players look forward to an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way to the Bay View Boys & Girls Club that meant so much to our families and children,” concludes Mike.

Healthy Hollywood gives two thumbs up to this gang of four, who not only raised $3,500 this past weekend but also remind us about the power of friendship!

-- Terri MacLeod

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