‭(573) 614-0503‬ [email protected] 705 Laurie Circle, Dexter, MO 63841

2013 Charity Golf Event Weekend Recap

Charity Golf Event Weekend Recap
Needless to say, this year’s event was special. From Wednesday throughout the remainder of the week, you could tell this event was going to be great. Our team stuffed golfer bags loaded with nice items on Wednesday and on Thursday we took over the Elk’s Lodge, setting up for the banquet. Friday’s banquet was a wonderful night, beginning with Pastor Mike Williams giving a fitting Invocation to the crowd of right at 500.

David Robinson received the night’s first standing ovation for his work on our tribute video, which you can see here. If you get a chance, go back and check out all of his work over the years. Becky Dennington amazed the crowd with her candid, emotional testimony. She is a true WARRIOR with a passion for inspiring others with her attitude, compassion, kindness, and determination. Ed Hearn was our keynote speaker and was introduced by former 18 FORE Life speaker Brian Holman, who joined us once again. Ed’s message silenced the crowd as he told of being a World Series Champion as a rookie in 1986, only to find himself on dialysis two years later. His personality could be felt from the front row to the back row. His joy for living this life in a faithful way was obvious. His positive attitude and ability to inspire others jolted the room. Chad Gaylord was introduced next and gave the annual Toast to Ben. One of Ben’s best childhood and adult buddies, Chad did a terrific job of smiling, laughing, and sharing with our folks. Ben, needless to say, would have loved every story. Becky, Brian, Ed, and Chad: You all were amazing and left this organization and its supporters proud!

The Auction was a big success with items going for $4600 and $3800! Gary Rhine and Jimmy Miles once again put on a great show for the audience while raising money for our cause. The BUZZ had many special guests join them later in the night, including The Kruse girls, The Parker Twins, Ashby Robinson, Larry Gilbow, and Brian Becker! It was a terrific and complete night.

When this many people come together for a common cause, anything can happen and anything is possible. 500 people in one room celebrating this life, giving to a terrific cause who is focused on helping families fighting cancer, and remembering all who are no longer with us. It is a great feeling to know Ben is proud of all of this fellowship and all the good that comes from that. He thought we had already dreamed big just by putting on a golf tournament. We didn’t realize it could be so much more than a golf tournament like it is today.

The golf was an entirely different story the next day! 5 inches of rain early Saturday made the decision to call of the golf tournament an easy one. Rivers flowed down fairways and the greens visible from the Clubhouse looked like tiny ponds. We want to thank our golfers for being so patient and understanding, as well as so generous in allowing us to keep entry fees (in exchange for their goody bag). Please note, if there is anyone who did not either get their goody bag or their entry refunded, please contact us so we can get this settled up and have you fired up about coming back next year. Many golfers made extra donations and the Clubhouse remained full for most of the day and early evening.

We did hold a silent auction and a lunch was served around 1:00PM for anyone who could stick around. Shane McClintick, an annual golfer from Nixa, MO, won the BUZZ 9 golf cart. He thought we were playing a joke on him and was stunned to have to figure out a way to get his new jewel pulled back home! Congrats Shane! The day ended on an incredibly bright note. Semytra Tour Pro Chelsea Bach and her family had joined us for the weekend in hopes of helping Cory Blocker, and his Birdie’s For Breast Cancer Crew, raise extra money on Hole #4. Her parents were going to play in the event. When this didn’t happen, they still stuck around and Chelsea played local golfer Chance Holden in a 5 hole Fun Match while 35-40 folks walked the soggy course to watch. It was a great friendly battle of two impressive golfers and was a happy ending to a day that started off anything but. Thank you Chelsea and Chance!

Drive FORE $1 Million – We Did It!
Our goal in all of this was to raise enough money to give away our 1 MILLIONTH dollar in love offerings. We were well over $900,000.00 at the start of the weekend and all of our team felt we could get close with a good effort at The Ben Kruse 18 FORE Life Charity Golf Event. After totaling figures, paying the minimal bills we have, and sending out $65,000.00 in love offerings on June 6th, we reached $999,000.00 in love offerings sent out!!!! ONE AWAY. On June 7th, we sent out 3 more love offerings and breaking the goal of giving away $1,000,000.00! WE DID IT! We thank all of our sponsors, supporters and volunteers for helping us reach this milestone. Until there’s a cure, we’ll strive even harder for our next $1 Million.


Drive FORE $1 Million

After giving away over $150,000.00 in love offerings this year, it is obvious we are charging towards a date when we will give away our ONE MILLIONTH dollar. We are currently right at $900,000.00 which has been sent to families fighting cancer since our charity began in 2000. Needless to say, our efforts have made an impact and we all know we still have more work to do.

The Granite Desk Plaque Project

Kerry Gilbow, Jim Rainey, and Mark Booker have taken on a granite desk plaque project. The idea came about when Gilbow came to us and wanted to sell PINK bricks with the 18 FORE Life logo on them, and literally put them in people’s homes in place of a normal brick! This idea proved to be a bit much to undertake, but led to the idea of selling granite desk plaques for $1000.00. The person buying the item will have the opportunity to give us a name of a person fighting cancer and know that this donation will end up in their hands as they battle this disease. The boys have already sold 20+!!! The idea has jump started a drive to raise more money and give away our 1 Millionth dollar by our June 2013 golf event! We know we can do it.

Drive FORE $1 MillionDrive FORE $1 Million

So, we are officially making it our mission to ask for donations of all amounts as we speed towards this goal. Our website will be keeping track with where we are in this endeavor and we’ll be updating our Facebook timeline with our organization’s many milestones to commemorate our biggest milestone so far. We hope you share some stories with us! This year’s video will also feature a great display showing this intense drive!

Donations can be of ANY amount. Please use the Donate Now buttons for secure online donations or mail your check to the address below. We get so many $10, $20, and $25 donations and they matter…they add up…they make a difference. ALL donations can be made in honor or in memory of friends and loved ones and we acknowledge all of this with the families. This time of the year is a great time to choose ways to give gifts in support of charities. We are a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization. We thank you for choosing 18 FORE Life and appreciate the teamwork it has taken to help so many families over the years.

Please share this message with friends and family who might enjoy seeing what we do and how we do it. Check out our website, check out our Facebook page – click LIKE!, and follow us on Twitter. Together we will continue to make a difference.

With love
The Ben Kruse 18 FORE Life Foundation
705 Laurie Circle
Dexter, MO 63841



September 2012 Update

Hello everyone! It sure has been awhile and we apologize for not keeping you up to date with all that is going on. Needless to say, things are busy….in a great way!

First of all, lets take a look back at our June event. Our volunteers worked tirelessly teaming to prepare starting Wednesday stuffing a goody bag that had to be one of our best ever! The Elk’s Lodge was decorated on Thursday and the golf course was setup on Friday as banquet time quickly approached.

Once again, the atmosphere in the banquet facility was electric. It is a cross between a class reunion and wedding reception in my eyes and the hugs, handshakes, and laughs were far too many to count.

David Robinson put together an amazing video as always, capturing the multiple events and the busy year this charity always enjoys. If you haven’t seen it or didn’t get to, please go to18forelife.com and check it out-send family and friends as well!

Bill Pippins Jr. captivated the audience with his testimony of love, courage, and care. His emotion from the perspective of a caregiver was felt throughout the audience. This was followed by Dave Draveky’s story. Dave’s powerful words kept everyone on the edge of their seat as he motivated and inspired us all. He epitomized just what our charity is all about. If you would like to learn more about him, go to endurance.org and also check out his many books available at amazon.com!

The annual auction was a hit once again, raising money and allowing the crowd to get their hands on some cool memorabilia. The BUZZ closed out the night with some good ole Rock n Roll with the help of Addie Kruse, who sang Drops of Jupiter.

The golf event filled Hidden Trails Country Club as all 386 golfers seemed to enjoy un unusually cool June day. With the help of Birdies for Breast Cancer, the gals from Beta Sigma, Montgomery Bank’s 17th Hole, and our volunteers on #14-the atmosphere was just terrific. Kyle Christian, Matt Christian, Ryan Jacques, and Jake Barge won this year’s event and the Not So Famous Tan Jackets! Can’t wait to see what they have embroidered on these for next year.

At this time, we have given away $138,000.00 in love offerings during 2012, by far our biggest year ever and a wonderful sign that this charity is ONLY growing. We can even do more and we will thanks to your support, the support from a giving community, and with the help of a huge team of volunteers.

What do we have going on????? PLENTY!

The Ben Kruse Crappie Tournament
The 2nd annual Ben Kruse Crappie Tournament was another huge success. $8,500 raised by pulling off the largest fishing tournament in Lake Wappapello’s history. Bruce and Amy Christian, Dane Bess, and a crew of helpers have already made this one of the most well organized fishing events in the Midwest. Be on the lookout for bigger and better things from them as they grow this with national sponsorships coming on board. Also look for a new fishing tournament tab on the website to keep up with this event.

This Run’s For Vaughn
This Run’s For Vaughn was another big success. We remembered a great man, Vaughn Wright, and celebrated a wonderful morning together, running/walking the streets of Dexter while raising money for families in the area fighting ALS. This fall event is a great time for all involved.

Hits For Hope
Dexter vs. Puxico on October 1st will be this year’s Hits For Hope game at DHS. Look for Bloomfield, Bernie and Richland to also host these events. The home team will wear specially made PINK uniforms, a PINK ball will be used, PINK whistles used, the gyms will be PINKED OUT and money will be raised for 18 FORE Life. What an honor it is to be the focus of these events and what a great thing it is to see so many young people find out just how good it feels to do something good.

Thanks for taking the time to read this announcement! We promise to be better at keeping you up to speed. Your support of this charity is appreciated more than you know.

With love

3rd Annual Claus for a Cause – November 20th

You’re invited to an afternoon of FUN and pictures with Santa! All profit from The 3rd Annual Claus for a Cause charity event will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation AND 18 FORE Life

Sunday, November 20th
Trinity United Methodist Church
704 W. Missouri St.
Bloomfield, MO 63825

For more information, you may contact Julie Dodd at 573-568-2503 or visit the following website:  www.clausforacause.blogspot.com OR email: [email protected]

Click here to download the Claus for a Cause flyer.



October 2011 Update

Things have been crazy busy and crazy good around here. Summer came and went and now the fall weather makes for a beautiful time of year. Lets catch up on some of what we have going on at 18 FORE Life. Too much good stuff not to share!

The Ben Kruse Crappie Tournament

First time was a charm for Bruce and Amy Christian, Dain Bess, and a team of volunteers who made the idea of a fishing tournament happen in a BIG way. $7000 raised, 40 boats entered, and a great time by all who participated in the tournament held at Lake Wappappello. It was a wonderful day and the fishermen who know agreed the tournament was run flawlessly. Marty Poetz MC’d the weigh in, Doug Cox and Dallas Buchanan cooked some great food, and the atmosphere was perfect. This event will no doubt grow each year. Thanks to everyone who ran with this one.

Me and the Ugly C Released

Me and the Ugly C by Becky Dennington was released Wednesday, October 5th. The book is about Becky’s life during her battle and victory of breast cancer. This is an electronic book and can be purchased at amazon.combarnesandnoble.com and omnilit.com for $4.99. If you do not have a Nook, Kindle or iPad no worries…you can download a free reader program for your desktop or laptop computers as well as your Android, iPhone or Blackberry phones. LazyDay Publishing company will be donating 100% of their profits of Becky’s book to 18 FORE Life.


Dig P!NK

Dig Pink events have popped up all over southeast Missouri. Last night Dexter hosted a wonderful event raising $5000! Picture the Bearcat Event Center tricked out in PINK, the Lady Cats wearing PINK uniforms, PINK whistles being used by the referees, a PINK volleyball used in the games, and the cheering section dressed in…you guessed it, not RED and BLACK, but PINK, including 18 FORE Life t-shirts created for the occasion! The volleyball team, coaches, and Dexter Public schools should be commended for the effort in pulling this off. Still, this would NOT have happened without the organization and work of Stacy Blocker. PINK Volleyballs memorializing and honoring folks fighting cancer were sold, a silent auction took place, and funds were raised for the charity of their choice….18 FORE Life. We’ll have photos in our website soon.

Next up, Dig P!NK events at Bernie, Bloomfield, and Richland. The uniforms, purchased by Central Gardens nursing home, will travel and be worn by the home team and this spirit of fundraising is growing contagious.

This Run’s For Vaughn

This Run’s For Vaughn raised right at $5000 this past weekend. A beautiful day to raise money for area families fighting ALS and to remember a friend, father, husband, pastor, and leader: Vaughn Wright. The bake sale raised nearly $700. The food, prepared by Doug Cox and First Christian Church Men’s Group was amazing. A big thank you to Norman Hardy and First Commercial Bank for sponsoring the Tshirts given to the participants. Nearly 100 people walked or ran the 3 mile course. Challenge yourself to join us next year….YOU can do it!


Me And The Ugly C – October 5th Release

 Becky Dennington’s book will be released October 5th!

The following was posted on the LazyDay Publishing blog yesterday:

She never thought it would happen to her.

But it did.

At the age of thirty-five, Becky Dennington was diagnosed with non-invasive and invasive ductal carcinoma.  Breast cancer.  In an instant, her life changed all because of a single word she couldn’t even bring herself to say out loud.  The ugly C word.

Share in the journey of one young woman’s fight against breast cancer, the sacrifices a family makes, the heartbreak cancer leaves in its path, and the joy found along the way.

100% of LazyDay Publishing proceeds will be donated to 18FORELife to help with those with Cancer. Please check out this wonderful organization.

We want to thank LazyDay Publishing for their contributions to 18 FORE Life. Please check out their site and digital books. And don’t forget to return on October 5th to purchase and download Becky’s book.



First Ever Ben Kruse Charity Crappie Tournament

September 10th marks the first ever Ben Kruse Charity Crappie Tournament with all proceeds going to 18 FORE Life! Dain Bess and Bruce Christian have led the way in working to organize this event at Lake Wappapello. The tournament entry fee is $100 per two man team/boat. Start time is 7:00AM and ends promptly at 2:00PM, with Redman Creek as the weigh in! Chicken wings will be furnished and Loins will be on sale for $25. The Raffles are amazing and include a Cajun Fish Fryer and a Cajun Grill (1 for $5 and 3 for $10). All participants can look forward to getting a T-shirt and having a chance at some great auction items. All proceeds go to 18 FORE Life/area families fighting cancer. Contact Bruce Christian at 624-4505 for more information and check out the entry fee included in this announcement!

Click here to download the registration form.



2011 Golf Event Recap

We have set the bar high when it comes to our event each June. Knowing that gives us the added pressure we need to try and outdo ourselves each summer.  This year, we feel we lived up to our high standard! 

Friday night once again was electric.  The Elk’s Lodge is a great teammate and the food was incredible.  The late Vaughn Wright gave the Invocation through a video he made for us as a gift last year. What an inspiration and such a timeless prayer.

Shawn Green’s testimony hit home as the Bernie native gave us a recap of his battle with this horrible disease.  NO doubt this hero is surrounded by some great people who have helped make him the man he is today, capable of kicking cancer in the pants. Brian Holman followed and amazed the audience with a lifetime of adversity, success, loss, and playing the game of life like your hair was on fire!  The Auction was awesome this year, raising $11,110!!!!  Gary Rhine, thank you very much for this idea.  Also thanks to Mark Robertson for filling in as Gary beats cancer.  The BUZZ took over from there and everyone seemed to have a fun night hanging, dancing, and singing along!

Saturday’s golf was smooth, with 344 golfers filling the course with fun and excitement.  FUNdraisers on the course included a Lemon-aid Stand, Birdies for Breast Cancer, Beta Sigma’s Watering Hole, Montgomery Bank’s 17th Las Vegas Hole, and our picture hole which featured a signed Keith Urban guitar up for raffle.  Our 7th golf cart was also raffled off during the day. All in all, what a long, hot, 100 degree day full of fellowship and fun.  Ben, I know, was smiling down big time seeing this. 

We just wish to thank everyone who plays a part in putting this on.  Our team of volunteers, sponsors, and participants is deep into the hundreds and we appreciate all of you.

First glance at a total looks to be somewhere around $114,000.00 with more coming in!  We do have to pay a few bills, and then the love offerings will be heading for their homes!

Thanks again…until next year!