Tee’d Off Against Violence
5th annual golf tourney fundraiser to support violent crime victims
A program that provides resources to survivors of violent crimes and their families is hosting a golf tournament to raise funds to help support its mission this weekend.
The fifth annual Tee’d Off Against Violence golf tournament, sponsored by the Homicide/Other Violent Crimes Program with the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, will be Saturday at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course.
The event will kick off Friday night with a concert and silent auction at the Moose Lodge, 424 First Ave. S., from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Section Seven Band will perform and the live music is free and open to the public.
This fundraiser is paramount to supporting the Homicide/Other Violent Crimes Program, program supervisor Marie Harvey said.
“We use the money raised to help pay for hotel rooms during trials for witnesses who aren’t part of the family and can’t receive compensation benefits,” she said. “We also help get food cards or gas cards to help witnesses because compensation doesn’t pay for meals.”
Harvey said the program — which serves a 15-county region — is facing budget cuts starting in October, so this fundraiser helps “fill in the gaps.”
Most people in the communities Harvey and her staff serve have never heard of the Homicide/Other Violent Crimes Program. And that’s a good thing, she said, because it means they’ve never had to use their services. But still, Harvey is hoping to bring more awareness to the program and how it helps in hopes of finding more financial support.
Saturday’s golf tournament is a four-person best ball format. It will have a 9 a.m. shotgun start and there will be mini-games on some of the holes. Cash prizes will be at stake.
A second silent auction, with different items than Friday’s silent auction, will run most of the day in the clubhouse at Lakeside. The silent auction will be open to the public, not just golfers in the tournament, Harvey said.
There will be a free will donation lunch, courtesy of Northern Lights, which donated hamburgers.
Each golf cart will have a shield that has the story of someone lost to violence, Harvey said. “We put those on the carts to raise awareness and show this is real, this is happening in our communities,” she said.
The number of individuals and families served by the program have “skyrocketed” in recent years, Harvey said. In 2020, the program served around 350 clients. As of June 2021, the program has already served more than 300 clients.
While some teams at the tournament can be pretty competitive, it’s mostly a light, relaxing day.
“For the most part, it’s just to come on out to support us and have fun,” said Tonya Reed, a specialist with the Homicide/Other Violent Crimes Program. “It is a lot of fun.”
The goal for this weekend is to raise at least $20,000, Harvey said. An anonymous donor donated the band for Friday night’s kick-off. The program is open to more corporate sponsors or private donors for the event, which is the program’s only fundraiser each year.
All spots for the tournament have been filled, but there is a wait list in case of any cancellations. To sign up for the wait list, call 515-955-5677. More photos of the auction items can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TeedOffAgainstViolenceAnnualGolfTournament.