Main Event: Fundraiser, new partnership fit Rochester YMCA to a tee

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From left, Glenn Prehn, Bob Morse, Dave Paulson and Ron Siemers pose before beginning a round of golf for charity at Eastwood Golf Course. "Everyone can get a good chance to enjoy themselves and give support a good cause," said Siemers.

A perfect way to spend a beautiful fall afternoon. A very worthwhile cause. A new and terrific partnership. Such was the Rochester Area Famly YMCA 's golf outing fundraiser, Fore the Kids, Sept. 18 at Eastwood Golf Club.

The event raised $6,358, which was up from last year, said Sarah Brandt, of the YMCA. Seventy-seven golfers participated.

"Everyone had such a great time," Brandt said. "But it's not just about the money. At the end of the day, it really is about the people and the good time that people had."

The YMCA was celebrating its new partnership with another nonprofit organization, the Rochester Ice Hawks, whose players are doing their conditioning at the YMCA.

"They bring such energy to our facility when they are here. They're awesome," Brandt said.


Hawks player Josiah Habighorstwas at hole 14, which is considered the most difficult, for the afternoon. Golfers were able to "buy-a-drive," and Habighorst raised about $100 off that alone.

Dave Springer, of KAAL-TV, accompanied him on the hole. One golfer noted that "Josiah hit it farther than any human should be able to hit a ball."

Michelle Altmansaid, "It's a beautiful course, and I'm enjoying the putting contest. This is a very good time."

The Olmsted County Deputy Associationhad decided to support several groups this year.

"We looked around to see what was available, and we're happy and excited to have chosen the YMCA," said Jeff Coe, a member of the association.

Another member, Doug Marcotte, won the putting contest. "It was my first time in the contest," he said. "We have over 125 people in our association, so it's a good-size group, and this is a worthwhile cause."

Jorrie Johnson, of Rochester Women magazine and a board member at the YMCA, said she was enjoying the day.

"It's good to see so many supporters of the Y, people I know and new faces, too," Johnson said.


Evening brought relaxation for the golfers and a chance to see who had the high bid on the silent auction items. Five From Fox TV were there to emcee. Jessica Ihrke, chef of Eastwood Grill, offered a buffet spread on the patio.

"The golfers are hungry and come at various times, so we prepared a make-your-own-sandwich spread along with salads. They keep me hopping, replenishing the trays," she said with a grin.

Angie Dieterich, membership sales director at the YMCA, said people like a four-person best-shot tourney. "It goes faster, and there is less stress on the golfers," she said.

"100 percent of the net proceeds go to member, program and camp scholarships. It's for those with a proven financial need who want a healthier lifestyle," Dieterich said.

In 2012, the YMCA served more than 14,000 people from diverse communities in the Rochester area. The YMCA provided more than $216,275 in direct financial assistance for memberships and programs last year.

The YMCA is at 709 First Ave. S.W.

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