The weather may not be cooperating for those who want to hit the golf courses in the Brainerd lakes area, but an event Saturday in downtown Brainerd will give people a chance to get in the golf swing.
The fifth annual Down Town Golf Spring Open will be from 12-6 p.m. Saturday, with a 7 p.m. award ceremony at the American Legion in Brainerd. Participants pay a $5 “green fee” to take a shot at the green at all the downtown Brainerd bars, including the Blue Ox, Shep’s on 6th, T.J.’s Log Cabin, O’Neary’s, Iron Rail, Pit Stop, VFW, Liquor Pigz, Last Turn, American Legion and Yesterday’s Gone.
All proceeds will benefit Kinship Partners, a nonprofit youth mentoring organization providing positive role models to youth in Crow Wing and southern Cass counties since 1986. Kinship Partners matches volunteer adult mentors with children age 5-14 who have common interests.
David Downing, executive director of Kinship Partners, said the spring golf fundraiser has been well-attended in the past and has helped spread the word about Kinship and on how adults can become mentors.
Downing said that Kinship has 190 mentoring partnerships, but that there are 55 children, including 30 boys, on the waiting list for a mentor. He said the average wait for a boy to be matched with a mentor is 300 days.
Downing hopes that the event will trigger interest in becoming a mentor.
“I’m not a golfer, but I plan to be there and shoot a few holes,” Downing said.
John Potter of the Blue Ox said the the event has raised more than $6,000 for Kinship and draws more than 300 participants age 21 and older.
Steve Wiskow of C&L Distributing Inc. of Baxter said that, five years ago, he talked with a few of the bar owners about starting up an event in downtown Brainerd.
“At the time, it was slow and we wanted to create more business,” Wiskow said. “I heard about an event like this in the cities and thought it’d be fun. We stress the responsibility of not drinking and driving so it’s a fun, safe event.”
Potter encourages participants to wear costumes and said an award for best costume will be given. Money awards also will be given for first, second and third place based on participants’ golf scores.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.