Children in the Marshfield area have more than a million reasons to celebrate after the 9th annual Steven Meissner Memorial “Fore the Kids” golf event surpassed the $1 million mark for pediatric needs at Marshfield Clinic and in the community.
A full field of 150 golfers participated in the event Tuesday at RiverEdge Golf Course near Marshfield. This year’s event raised $134,675, bringing the nine-year total to $1,150,241.
The generosity of donors, sponsors and the dozens of volunteers who make the event successful every year continues to amaze Dave Meissner, who launched Fore the Kids in 2006 with his wife, Tammy Meissner.
“The people we work with are amazing,” Dave Meissner said. “I don’t have to call anyone for the event it seems because people are calling me and asking ‘how can I help?’”
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.
The event raises money for pediatric needs and the Youth Net program at Marshfield Clinic’s Center for Community Outreach. 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 and 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.
Youth Net was a key resource for Heather Schmidt of Marshfield as her daughter struggled with dyslexia in grade school. Her daughter fell behind her classmates academically and became more socially withdrawn.
“This isn’t what I wanted my daughter’s childhood to be like,” Schmidt said. “As a mother, I felt like a failure. “Youth Net was an answer to my prayers.”
Four years later, her daughter has shown remarkable improvement in school, has a plethora of friends and has a restored self-esteem.
“You might think your contribution to this event was small, but you have made a big difference in someone’s life,” Schmidt said to the crowd.
The golfers participated in contests at each hole in addition to playing the best-ball format. Participants won Packers and Brewers tickets, and gift certificates from local businesses. Prizes were awarded for first and second place in three flights, as well as 18 flag events and games throughout the course, including Plinko, KerPlunk and River Chip.
“It’s amazing to me to see the response from sponsors and participants,” said Tiffany Halan, special events coordinator, Development. “They all want to give just a little bit more. I think that is a direct reflection of the fun-loving and giving spirit of everyone who has been involved with this event from Day 1. This is truly a remarkable group of people.”
“Fore the Kids” not only relies on the hard work of the Meissner Family, Marshfield Clinic and generous sponsors to be successful, but the more than 50 volunteers who work for months leading up to the event.
Jan Dix, an appointment coordinator in the Orthotics-Pediatrics Department at the Clinic, has volunteered at the event since its inception. She was awarded the 2014 “Fore the Kids” service award.
“Jan’s sincerity, thoughtfulness and hardworking,” Tammy Meissner said. “Everything she does is from her love for her Uncle Steve.”
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