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Major Fundraising Outings Maintain Momentum, Fill Up Fast

The strange days of golf during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic have faded away – the single-rider rules for golf carts, the mandatory sanitizing and the weird foot-lift lever that Peninsula State Park Golf Course had at the base of flags for removing the ball from the cup.

But did you know that despite those precautions and some tournament cancellations, most of Door County’s biggest golf outings never lost momentum and still met fundraising goals?

For example, the annual celebrity golf classic that raises funds for the myriad services and programs provided by the Boys and Girls Club of Door County surpassed $30,000 that year, even though the golf outing didn’t take place. Thanks to golfers not asking for their money back, sponsorships and generous donors matching other donations, the event still provided much-needed funds.

“We did OK with the fundraising. It could have been a lot worse,” said event organizer Larry Brunette.

And this year, golf outings are packing them in. As of early June, the Boys and Girls Club’s celebrity event at Horseshoe Bay had just a couple of openings left for single golfers, and Brunette was waiting to hear back from one last foursome. And that event doesn’t even take place until late August, he noted.

Brunette and fellow Boys and Girls Club supporters are still welcoming more financial donations as sponsorships, and they have just a few dinner-only tickets for people who want to hear from and meet Green Bay Packers celebrities such as president Mark Murphy, Paul Coffman, Mark Tauscher, Don Horn, Dave Robinson, John Kuhn, Hall of Famer Jerry Kraemer and Bob Fox, who’s the co-author of Kraemer’s new book.

This year, the Boys and Girls Club will honor Robinson for his support of northeastern Wisconsin youth, and of course, the club will recognize Kraemer for the $1.3 million he has helped to raise for the Boys and Girls Club over the years.

Because of various factors, including conflicting fundraiser schedules and the high demand for tee times from Horseshoe Bay members, the Boys and Girls Club outing has moved from June to late August. To support the club or get more information, call 920.818.1046.

YMCA’s Golfing by the Bay Event

Like the Boys and Girls Club outing, the Door County YMCA’s Golfing by the Bay fundraiser has maintained momentum through the years. The July 31 event, which generates $25,000-$30,000 per year for the Y, brought in $31,000, even back in the COVID-19 summer when the Y had strict rules and limits on the number of players.

The outing, whose entry fee is $1,000, still has plenty of room for foursomes. Unlike in previous years, golfers are not guaranteed that they will be able to play 36 holes. Horseshoe Bay has so much demand for tee times that the club can’t close off the course for an entire day, said fundraising-campaign leader Makayla Thoma. 

The Y campaign raises about $500,000 each year, and the following big events are just a part of that: Dining by the Bay, where local chefs helped raise $15,000 May 25 at Maxwelton Braes; and Music by the Bay, set for Wednesday, Sept. 20, at Thyme. Call 920.743.4949 to get details.

The late Jim Sarkis, who founded Door County Charities 23 years ago. This year’s Jim Sarkis Memorial Golf Classic, which has always raised money mainly for cancer-fighting causes, will donate a large portion of the proceeds to Door County Medical Center to help establish a behavioral-health program. File photo, submitted.

Jim Sarkis Memorial Golf Classic

Door County Charities’ June 26 Jim Sarkis Memorial Golf Classic at Horseshoe Bay is almost at capacity for golfers, but sponsors and support are welcome, said Ben Baranczyk, who helps organize the now-23-year-old event along with Megan Sarkis. 

Founded by the late Jim Sarkis, the $325-per-player event became a fundraiser mainly for cancer-fighting causes when Jim was fighting cancer, but this year, a large portion of the proceeds will go to Door County Medical Center to help it set up a behavioral-health program. Megan Sarkis, who serves on the hospital board, said she hopes the tournament can do its part to make a difference as people and communities throughout the nation deal with an ongoing mental-health crisis.

Sarkis said Jim always wanted the golf day to be a lighthearted event. At one point, he had seen groups trying extremely hard to win at golf outings, and that’s not what these fundraisers are about. Sure, there are prizes for the teams that finish in various positions, although the winners of the Sarkis event might get something silly, if not undesirable. One year, some place winners received gift certificates and televisions, and the top finishers got rubber chickens.

“We don’t want to take life too seriously,” Megan said. “We always say it’s not about your score – it’s who you play with. And that’s how it should be.”

Get more information or get involved by calling 920.868.3918.

16th Annual Queen for a Day Golf Outing

This outing raises funds for the David Spude Cancer Center Endowment and DOOR CANcer, and the June 26 event actually has a big waiting list from women’s teams and individuals who would like to participate. The field is full, says organizer Barth Guilette, but he’s still welcoming sponsors. Reach him at 920.493.4625. 

At this event, Guilette said, “The golfing is almost secondary.” Some teams take their scores seriously, but many dress up in high style or like royalty and enjoy lunch, wine tastings and beer tasting on the course. There’s a dinner at the end, and one participant is crowned queen at Idlewild.

Other Upcoming Outings

• Door County Tavern League: Monday, June 19, 10 am, The Orchards at Egg Harbor, $300 per foursome.

• Door County Golf Marathon for the Door County Medical Center Foundation, Aug. 30, 920.746.1071 or 920.743.5566.

• Little Eddie Big Cup, annually on the Sunday before Columbus Day at Peninsula State Park Golf Course, benefiting the Mental Health Awareness Fund – part of the Door County Community Foundation – and accepting donations to the Ed Strege family. Visit [email protected] to find out more.