2013 Ben Kruse 18 FORE Life Charity Golf Event
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.