Disc Golf event, tourney planned
WORTHINGTON — On its way to fulfilling a challenge issued by local residents Wayne and Karen Freese, the Worthington Area Foundation hopes to get one step closer to its goal of raising $20,000 this year by hosting a disc golf challenge and random doubles disc golf tournament on July 26.
The fundraiser will help support the foundation’s general endowment. At the start of the year, the Freeses offered to match dollar-for-dollar all donations made to the foundation in 2014, up to $20,000.
Sharon Johnson, one of 12 Worthington Area Foundation board members, said nearly three-fourths of the money has already been raised for the challenge.
“We appreciate the Freeses’ donation,” she said, adding that the dollar-for-dollar match has helped board members in seeking contributions to the foundation’s general endowment.
“I’m just amazed at how generous this community is,” Johnson said. “I appreciate their support of the Worthington Area Foundation.
“It’s rewarding to see, when we work together like that, we can really make a difference,” she added.
Established in 1992, the Worthington Area Foundation invests all of its contributions, using the interest to fund grants to nonprofit community organizations. The general endowment is managed by the all-volunteer board, with oversight from the Southwest Initiative Foundation.
“The Worthington Area Foundation provides an opportunity for people to invest in their local community,” Johnson said. “We have a variety of opportunities for how people can invest.”
In its history, the endowment has granted more than $64,000 into community-related projects and activities, and more than $200,000 overall. Johnson said the four primary funding areas include the arts and culture, youth development and education, economic development and the environment.
Past recipients have included the Friends of the Auditorium, Dayton House, Nobles County Historical Society, District 518, Nobles County Integration Collaborative, Worthington Hockey Association and the Lake Okabena Improvement Association, among others.
“Each year we get a variety of applications in,” Johnson said, adding that applications are due in October of each year and recipients announced in November.
With the disc golf event planned for July 26, Johnson hopes more people will learn about the Worthington Area Foundation, and that the organization can reach a new audience of potential donors.
The disc golf event is sponsored in part by JBS, the Worthington Sports and Rec Committee and Discraft, a manufacturer of disc golf equipment. Each participant will receive a free disc with a specially designed logo for the event.
To ensure there are enough discs on hand for participants, people are asked to register for the event by calling District 518 Community Education at 376-6105 or register online at www.isd518.net/enrichment by July 25. If registration isn’t done in advance, Johnson encourages people to still come out and enjoy the day.
Activities get under way at 9 a.m. with a disc golf challenge course and activities for people of all ages and ability levels. Numerous contest prizes are offered for the morning event. In the afternoon, an 18-hole random doubles (partners will be drawn from a hat) disc golf tournament will begin for those ages 13 and older. Prizes will be awarded for the top three teams.
Ben and Bryan Doeden, Nobles County 4-H members, are spearheading the disc golf fundraiser. As avid disc golfers, the brothers met with the Worthington Area Foundation’s board of directors twice to plan the event, and also contacted local businesses for sponsorships. Planning the disc golf activity is part of their 4-H youth leadership project.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to grow the endowment and increase awareness of the Worthington Area Foundation,” Johnson said.
Those unable to attend the July 26 event at Worthington’s Sunset Bay Disc Golf course adjacent to Olson Park Campground, 951 Crailsheim Dr., may make a contribution to the Worthington Area Foundation, P.O. Box 373, Worthington 56187.
Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.