By VANESSA MEUIR
Golfers didn’t have the option to use the course at Country Club of Missouri on Friday, June 18. The green was reserved for the 26 teams playing in the Boys and Girls Town annual golf tournament. The tournament is one of two major fundraisers that happen each year to benefit the general funding and the operation budget of the organization.
Boys and Girls Town is a home that provides treatment for children who are victims of abuse. The organization provides education, therapy and a community environment for children in need. Events like the golf tournament keep the cottages that the children live in up and running, and they also help cover the cost of materials that they need on a day-to-day basis.
“This event is extremely vital to our organization,” said Julie McBride, director of advancement.
The teams are made up of men throughout the community, many of whom have come to several of the golf tournaments in the past. Dave Baugher, a member of the Boys and Girls Town board of directors, has attended every tournament since the beginning of the annual event.
“I participate in the golf tournaments because I understand and believe in the Boys and Girls Town of Missouri; they do wonderful work,” Baugher said.
Baugher was a part of the original program, called Front Door, that was present in Columbia before Boys and Girls Town of Missouri partnered with them. Front Door was unable to reach as many children as they wanted to because of limited resources. Boys and Girls Town brought a lot of experience and expansion to Front Door, so they merged into the Boys and Girls Town organization.
Baugher sponsors a team, and believes that forming one for this event not only helps the children but also helps in business.
“In my case, I invite both friends and business associates to be on a team,” Baugher said. “It’s a good way to entertain a customer or a business associate that you’d want to be able to spend some time with.”
The teams play what is called a four-man scramble. Each golfer takes a shot, then the best shot is picked out of the round. At the end of the day, five teams won prizes for their performance on the course. The winning team was awarded a traveling trophy, which will have their names engraved into it, in addition to gift cards and various athletic apparel. According to Baugher, even if there were no prizes awarded, the tournament would still be fun.
“It’s always fun, you’re with a group of people who are fun and it carries over to the golf tournament,” Baugher said. “We eat well, drink well and play OK golf, but OK is good enough. We have a good time.”
Inside the country club, a silent auction was set up for people to bid on athletic apparel and various other gifts. McBride explained that none of it would have been possible without the generous donations of the community.
“There are lots of items donated by organizations and businesses, such as gift cards and sports packages,” McBride said. “The Big 12 Conference is a big supporter of ours, so they’ve sent us a number of items, but a majority of the items come from members of the community.”
After enjoying a catered lunch and loading up on cold drinks, the golfers headed out to their golf carts and drove off to their first holes. They went on to spend the entire day on the course and didn’t come back to the club until later that evening, where they were greeted by a reception and the announcement of the winners and their prizes.
“Its perfect; I love to play golf,” Baugher said. “I’m not a very good golfer, but I’m a staunch supporter of Boys and Girls Town, so it’s really a great and easy way to support them.”