On Monday afternoon, golfers flooded Valparaiso Country Club to partake in the 8th annual United Way Annual Golf Classic. Indiana Beverage and Yuengling provided a variety of drink samples, while companies including NIPSCO and Blue Chip Casino sponsored team golf carts to travel the course in ease. Thanks to these sponsors and more, United Way of Porter County kept everyone hydrated and cool in the 90-degree heat.
Kassandra Tenbarge, director of development for United Way of Porter County, was grateful to everyone who supported the Party on the Green event.
“We’re really thankful for all the golfers, sponsors, volunteers, and supporters,” Tenbarge said. “Their efforts has raised $33,000 to support Porter County residents in need .”
All proceeds from this event and others go to support more than 55 human services programs annually, said Kim Olesker, president and CEO of United Way of Porter County.
“We work to improve education opportunities for children, strengthen financial planning for young adults and teenagers, help residents gain access to healthcare, and more,” Olesker said.
United Way has been a fixture in Porter County for 61 years and serves 69,000 individuals every year.
“It’s a really great event, we have golfers that have been with us since the beginning and we have accumulated new friends along the way,” Olesker said. “We look forward to it every year.”
Olesker stressed that United Way doesn’t serve alone. With more than 200 nonprofits in their partner network, it’s important for people to remember United Way in their giving plans.
Todd Leeth, the 2019/2020 Campaign Chair for United Way of Porter County, said that United Way also hosts the Golf Classic to raise awareness about their mission in hopes that people will participate and contribute to their overall fundraising campaign. Leeth looked forward to the fellowship the event brings.
“It’s a beautiful day,” Leeth said. “We get to spend some time in fellowship with like minds and help those who need a helping hand.”
Through Aqua Indiana, United Way was able to sponsor a team of veterans which included Marine Corps veterans Reggie Hess, Rich Forster, and Jim Atkinson, and Army veteran Tim Olson.
“We’ve been doing this for a couple years now, and I think we’ll come back every year if they invite us,” Olson said. “It’s nice to be invited to things like this to show that the veterans can still get out and hit the golf ball!”
Atkinson said they were humbled and honored to be there.
“In some small way, we decided to go ahead and try to give back and do our part to show our gratitude to the community and United Way,” Atkinson said.
Alongside 24 teams of golfers, there was a silent auction which included Chicago White Sox tickets, an AutoZone car cleaning kit, an autographed Mel Gibson portrait, and a Yuengling golf club bag. Select hole-in-one prizes included a brand-new Mazda and a year’s supply of golf balls from the Kennedy Mazda dealership.
For more information about United Way of Porter County and how to donate, visit their website at https://www.unitedwaypc.org/. You can also learn more about supporters like Indiana Beverage at http://www.indianabev.com/ and NIPSCO at https://www.nipsco.com/.