Golf creates scholarships
Published 5:51 pm Monday, July 20, 2015
For more than half a century, golf has helped area students offset the cost of higher education.
The 52nd annual Chamber Ambassador Scholarship Golf Outing drew 96 players on 24 teams to raise funds for scholarships Monday at Green Lea Golf Course.
“There are a lot of prizes (for tournament participants), but the real winners are the scholarship kids,” said Randy Kehr, executive director of the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.
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Scholarships recipients were Megan Lindely, Taylor Martinez, Kaitlynn Larson and Yuseina Lino of Albert Lea High School and Brady Neel of Alden-Conger High School. A scholarship was also awarded to a Riverland Community College student, but the name was not available, Kehr said.
Jesse Krick, owner of Steam It Clean Carpet Cleaning, participated in the tournament for the second consecutive year. His group birdied the first hole.
“We’re doing pretty well, and we’re having a good time,” he said. “The main thing is having fun out here and raising money for scholarships.”
Along with food, raffle prizes and games at 13 holes, participants were in the running for the grand prize, a $500 gift certificate from Slumberland Furniture.
Area businesses sponsored 16 holes, and prizes were donated by 37 area businesses.
Over the last three years, scholarship awards doubled from $500 to $1,000, Kehr said.
“The ambassadors do a great job of getting prizes, being on the course and raising money for scholarships,” he said.
Cindy Lunning, an ambassador for the last 17 years, was happy to assist with the tournament near the clubhouse.
“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s all about raising money for kids,” she said.
Kehr said his favorite part of the event was watching the golfers line up their carts before the tournament began.
“You look at that and realize what a great supportive community we have — the business community in particular — and that they support the ambassadors and make it easy to give scholarships,” he said.
A committee of chamber ambassadors sifted through 25 applicants this year and scheduled interviews with the top candidates, Kehr said.
Recipients can be from any school in Freeborn County. Although five of this year’s six recipients were from Albert Lea, scholarships last year were awarded to students from Glenville-Emmons, NRHEG and Riverland. This year, Kehr said more students from Albert Lea and fewer area students applied.
“It’s not on a rotation,” Kehr said. “The scholarship winners stand on their own merits.”
Heavy rain at 7 a.m. Monday dissipated, and golfers took the course under sunny blue skies.
The golf outing is the ambassadors’ only fundraiser, Kehr said.
Green Lea and Wedgewood Cove Golf Club alternate hosting the event.
“Switching back and forth between courses has been fun,” Kehr said. “Every year is a little bit different.”