On Thursday, community members gathered at Forest Park Golf Course in Valparaiso for a round of golf to support Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana. A total of 196 players of all ability levels climbed into carts and headed out for two separate shotgun starts, showing a huge level of support for the cause. Not only was it a beautiful, sunny day to play golf, it was also a great day to support the community.
The players in attendance at the event were some of the lucky ones as the outing sold out more than two months beforehand. Through the outing and its sponsors, all the people there attended for one purpose; to support the children in Northwest Indiana.
“Everyone really benefits from [the outing]. The golf course benefits, businesses get their advertising out, it's a win-win,” said Deana Smiley, a volunteer for the outing.
Ryan Smiley, the CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, said this has been a popular event and it gets better each year. Not only is it a benefit for the Club, he really appreciates the huge amount of support the event gets from Forest Park and the rest of the community.
Smiley said, “First and foremost we want to make sure all of our participants have a good time. The majority of earnings from today go right back into the club, so we try and keep all of our costs and fees low, we have wonderful volunteers here too. We think people really appreciate the culture of the event and the opportunity to interact with so many of their colleagues they see out here.”
Not only does he appreciate the support, Smiley also thinks that the event benefits the community as a whole.
“I think this is a great thing for the community, not only for the organization and all of the kids that we support, but the sheer number that come out and play, the number of sponsors, number of volunteers, it’s a real collective effort in the best interest in the kids,” Smiley said.
Stephanie Hamilton, Director of Marketing and Communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, was excited to see everyone out and enjoying themselves. With the event in its 38th year, people have come to expect a certain level of light-hearted fun to be involved.
“It's more of a relaxing atmosphere rather than a competitive game. Everyone is out here to have a good time and it’s an outing everyone loves,” said Hamilton.
This event has received much attention over the years. Due to that support and the combining of the Lake County and Porter county clubs, 2018's event will be the final golf outing at Forest Park. Due to its ever-growing popularity, the annual golf outing will be held at Riverpoint Golf Course on July 11 next year.
To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana, visit their website!