It’s a hole-in-one as celebrity golf tournament raises funds for Murray charity
Nov 01, 2017 02:02PM
● By Shaun Delliskave
Murray Fire Chief Gil Rodriguez, Murray mayoral candidates Dan Snarr and Blair Camp, former University of Utah head football coach Ron McBride, Vice President of Murray Boys & Girls Club Bob Dunn, and former Murray School District Superintendent Steve Hirase all came out to support the KidsEat! Golf Classic. (Courtesy Lynda Brown)
Even a downpour on the golf course and uncompleted scorecards couldn’t keep celebrity golfers from smiling at the recent KidsEat! Golf Classic, as the organization announced it raised more than $10,000 to help children in need.
The tourney, held at Murray Parkway Golf Course on September 15, brought together local personalities, including former University of Utah head football coach Ron McBride, to raise funds to combat food insecurity for at-risk children.
“Taking care of kids, helping feed them. I want to help as much as I can,” said McBride. “KidsEat! and my foundation all focus on kids, and that is important to me.” The Ron McBride Foundation’s focus is to improve the lives of the youth in Utah through education.
KidsEat! was founded by Lynda Brown. She got the idea for her charity while volunteering at the Murray Boys & Girls Club. Brown learned that an 8-year-old girl was stealing food from the Boys & Girls (B&G) Club pantry to feed her 4-year-old brother and herself on the weekend.
After further investigation, it was determined that 40 children at just that one club desperately needed weekend food. Within five days KidsEat! was formed with five B&G members heading up the organization.
According to Brown, there are over 55,000 children that receive a free lunch every day in the five Salt Lake Valley school districts. “Consider how many of those children could use food on the weekend. Our mission statement also says that we will educate the public about the hunger that exists in our valley and help provide a means to help solve this health problem.”
KidsEat! provides seven weekend meals and snacks for at-risk children in the Salt Lake Valley through Boys & Girls Clubs, Neighborhood House, DDI (an early Head Start program) and five Murray Schools. They also supply breakfast for 30–50 children at the Murray B&G Club Daycare every day.
“We currently need $4,000 per month in food, so the [funds raised at the golf tournament] will help us feed children for about three months,” remarked Brown.
In addition to McBride, the tournament attracted veteran NBA Coach Barry Hecker, Salt Lake Tribune Sports Columnist Kurt Kragthorpe, Murray mayoral candidates Blair Camp and Dan Snarr, former Murray School District Superintendent Steve Hirase, Jenkins-Soffe Funeral Homes owner Kurt Soffe, Murray Fire Chief Gil Rodriguez, former U.S. freeskiing champion Gordy Peifer, and New York Times bestselling author (Everneath Series) Brodi Ashton.
A volunteer group called the Kids Crew helped staff the event. Eighteen volunteers helped with registration, logistics and prizes. There were 22 teams of four (88 people) that registered and paid to golf. All golf teams played for a child, and their entry fee included enough money for three months of weekend food for that child.
Golf Classic sponsors included The Kahlert Foundation, AETNA, Kenworth Sales, Waddell & Reed, NY Life, Rosco Construction, MOTO Motorcycles, SA International, Molina Healthcare, Hello Beautiful Ladies, and BNI (Business Networking International).
“The Golf Classic was a high-energy gathering with a perfect shotgun start,” said Brown. “Then on about the third hole, the rains came and the tournament was over. Everyone said they had a great time in spite of the rain and were glad they could help our cause and they left smiling.”
In addition to the golf tournament, KidsEat! holds two spring fundraisers called Help Us Bloom—a garden party and a silent auction held in May. They also hold a fall Wine & Cheese Pairing fundraiser and silent auction.
More information on KidsEat! can be found online at: www.kidseatutah.org