All Day Fore Africa continues to grow
WORTHINGTON -- Kate Lesnar was the only one on the golf course during the inaugural All Day Fore Africa event in 2010 when the fundraiser netted $10,000 for a water project in Kibeho, Rwanda.
Fast forward three years and the event has grown from a one-woman golf fundraiser to an event encompassing multiple fundraisers across the United States.
"When we got started, it was just me on the golf course trying to golf 100 holes in a day," Lesnar said. "But the next year, we added events in Nebraska and California through mutual friends in those places and it just caught on.
"This year, we have around 20 kids golfing at the Country Club during the day and then a group of adults playing later. So, I think we have about 40 people total and that isn't including the other events across the country."
The golfing portion of the fundraiser is set to begin around 9 a.m. Wednesday, at the Worthington Country Club, with the younger golfers setting out to golf as many holes as they can. A "Big Boy" division starts around 5 p.m. in a scramble format for the older golfers.
"I'm not sure how long we will end up playing, but we'll go out and see how long we last," Lesnar said. "As for the 'Big Boy' division, it is another fun way for the adults to be involved, too. Everyone can go out and play as fast or slow as they want to."
In the first three years of All Day Fore Africa, the group raised over $70,000 and has set this year's fundraising goal to $200,000, with all the money going to build a medical center and teacher's dormitory in Kibeho.
"We knew we wanted the event to grow and in order for it to start growing, you have to get more people involved," Kyle Wendland, who was Kate's caddie at the first ADFA, said. "That is why I started golfing at the event in the second year."
Even though All Day Fore Africa began as a golfing event, it has grown to include people showing off their musical abilities and other talents in order to give everyone a chance to help the cause in any way they can.
"Not everyone can golf, but we all have different things that we like to do," Annie Lesnar said. "So I'm using my own talents (which include music and singing) to raise money."
Last year, ADFA added a music event to its Worthington fundraising schedule featuring local musicians and singers. The event grew from just two performers to a total of 10 musicians showing off their musical talents to help raise money. This year's music event will take place at BenLee's Cafe from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
"Last year, Annie and I didn't golf, but we still wanted to do something in our own way to help raise money," Kailey Wendland said.
"We both play guitar, so it was fun to find a way to still raise money, but maybe in a different way than golfing," added Annie.
The inclusion of new events to All Day Fore Africa fits right into the fundraiser's slogan, "Kids Playing For Kids," and shows a willingness to include everyone who wants to help raise money for the cause.
"We want to let people do whatever they want to do in order to make a difference," Kate said. "So that is why we are encouraging kids from anywhere to do whatever they like to do."
"And there's really no limit to what you can do, because anything helps," Kyle added.
The event has also attracted younger golfers like Anna and Ethan Meyer.
"We gave money a couple of years ago and we decided we wanted to take part in the golfing event as well," Anna Meyer said.
Another new addition to this year's event is Nebraska native Andrew Korta's 100-mile bike ride from Sioux City, Iowa, to Worthington. Andrew's father, Tom, will be accompanying him on the ride, with the pair scheduled to arrive in Worthington around 5 pm. Wednesday.
"That is really, really far for a little kid to ride from Sioux City to here," Kate said. "They were here last year for the golf event and Andrew wanted to get involved, but he doesn't golf. So he decided to ride his bike and run with it. He's really excited about it and we are really excited to welcome him."
Ground breaking for the medical center is scheduled for next week, so the money raised by Kate and the other supporters of All Day Fore Africa on Wednesday will be heading to Kibeho as soon as possible to make sure the there are no delays in the project.
"I have been there before, so I can picture the exact kids who will be benefitting from this medical center," Kate said. "It is just so cool that we can make such a big impact in their life. This is literally life changing for them."
Even though All Day Fore Africa is donating the money for the medical center, the people of Kibeho will still need more help.
"There are so many things that they still need, even though they are getting a new medical center," Annie said. "They can go hungry at night, or they might not have a home to live in."
Anyone who still wishes to donate money to All Day Fore Africa can do so by going to the groups website (alldayforeafrica.com) or come out to the Country Club and give the donations to one of the group members.
"It is really the support of the people in Worthington that has made this event a success; the support has been overwhelming," Kyle said. "Without the community, there is no event."