It’s time to practice that golf swing as spring weather has made its presence in the Brainerd lakes area in the past weeks, and an event Saturday will help golfers — or anyone for that matter — do just that.
The sixth annual Down Town Golf Spring Open will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with a 6 p.m. award ceremony at the American Legion in Brainerd. Participants pay a $5 “green fee” to take a shot at the green at downtown Brainerd bars, including the Blue Ox, Shep’s on 6th, T.J.’s Log Cabin, O’Neary’s, The Pitstop, VFW, Liquor Pigz, Last Turn Saloon, The Elks, American Legion and Yesterday’s Gone. Each golf hole will be different as the bars each designed their own hole for the fundraiser.
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 more than 200 mentoring partnerships and there are 30 children on the waiting list for a mentor. Downing said Kinship had a big push in January to get more mentors and Kinship was able to connect 38 partnerships alone during that campaign. Downing said the average wait for a child to be matched with a mentor is five to six months.
Downing hopes that the golf event will trigger interest in becoming a mentor.
“This is a good event and we appreciate the downtown business owners support of our program,” said Downing. “This is our 26th year as a program and we’ve never had to accept any governmental funding. We appreciate everyone who supports Kinship Partners and each fundraiser helps us to help kids.”
Downing said the bar owners do a good job at monitoring the event to make sure everyone is safe and responsible.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Downing.
Steve Wiskow, of C&L Distributing Inc. of Baxter, organized the event six years ago after talking with a few of the bar owners about starting up an event in downtown Brainerd. Wiskow said the golfing event is a good time for people, all while supporting a good cause. Plus, Wiskow said the event gets people downtown.
“We ask that people be responsible and to come out to support Kinship Partners,” said Wiskow.