Photo: Steve Hutchison, director of operations for Security Health Plan of Wisconsin, Inc., tees off at the eighth annual Fore the Kids Tuesday, June 11, at RiverEdge Golf Course in Marshfield. The event raised $123,000 this year and $970,000 since it began.
Prior to the first
Steven Meissner Memorial Classic Fore the Kids golf event eight years ago, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to help local children may have seemed like a lofty goal.
But on Tuesday, the eighth annual Fore the Kids at RiverEdge Golf Course in Marshfield pushed organizers just thousands of dollars away from raising $1 million. The event this year raised $123,000 pushing the total to $970,000.
"These dollars have been given by people who truly want to make a difference in the future of the youth of our community," said Dave Meissner, who launched Fore the Kids in 2006 with his wife Tammy Meissner. "We have sponsors who have been with us from day one and new supporters who want to be part of the movement. There's no doubt Tammy and I are humbled and blessed to work with so many wonderful people."
The event, which relies each year on about 50 volunteers to remain successful, will raise money for Marshfield Clinic's Youth Net. Youth Net targets educational and academic success, development of personal and social skills, participation in recreational activities and supervised community service opportunities for youth, ages 8 to 18.
Money raised for Youth Net has helped the program offer additional days of service, monthly family education nights, a full-time nurse clinician specializing in pediatrics as well as operational costs. In addition, Fore the Kids has supported pediatric needs at Marshfield Clinic.
"Fore the Kids is a special event for so many reasons, but especially because it benefits local children," said Tiffany Halan, special events coordinator, Marshfield Clinic Development. "The Meissners and all the volunteers have worked tirelessly to support a cause dear to their hearts. The astonishing results, and the programs now available for youth, are a testament to all their hard work."
Volunteer Brad Guse honored with Fore the Kids Service Award.
During the award ceremony Tuesday, Brad Guse of Arpin received the Fore the Kids Service Award, given each year to a volunteer who regularly goes above and beyond to help the youth.
"You've heard the saying 'volunteers don't necessarily have the time, but they have the heart,'" Tammy Meissner said. "This is no more evident than with Brad. He has devoted his life to faith, family and friends. He is a quiet giver and does not need, nor enjoys, the limelight, but he is more than deserving of this award."
Guse has served as a Fore the Kids committee member and has held numerous leadership roles during the past eight years. He helps coordinate each event, secures sponsorship and also is a generous donor.
For Guse, a retired Wisconsin Army National Guard first sergeant, service is a way of life. As Fore the Kids continues to address health, academic and social initiatives with its KidsZone project, Guse has provided business and financial guidance, but more importantly it's his compassion that has helped lead the project.
"Brad is as honest, real and true as people get," Dave Meissner said. "He'll drop anything if he thinks someone is in need of a shoulder to lean on or ear to listen."
The Steven Meissner Memorial Classic was created in memory of Steven Meissner who was killed in a car accident in 2005. He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of children and believed every child deserves happiness. The goal of this event is to provide and improve education, health, family and the overall well-being of children's lives.
For more information or to make a donation in conjunction with the Meissners' effort, call Tiffany Halan, Marshfield Clinic Development Department, 715-387-9189 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Marshfield Clinic system provides patient care, research and education in more than 50 locations in northern, central and western Wisconsin, making it one of the largest comprehensive medical systems in the United States.