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Donations still sought for ‘Hero’s Outing’ golf event

Donations still sought for ‘Hero’s Outing’ golf event

June 23rd, 2018 by Philip Joens in Local News

Julie Smith/News Tribune Don Hentges tees off at the range at Turkey Creek recently as he demonstrates how the golf cart for a disabled person works. After he was belted in, he then raised the chair to a comfortable height to be able to stand to hit the ball. Hentges is not a disabled veteran but just showing how the specialized golf cart operates. He's with the committee organizing Heroes Outing, which are activities to be held at Turkey Creek Golf Center wherein disabled veterans and active duty soldiers with disabilities will be able to access golf and fishing. The event is planned for early July.

An event to raise money to buy disabled-accessible golf carts is just a chip shot away, but sponsorships and donations can still be made, according to organizers.

A Hero’s Outing at Turkey Creek Golf Center on July 2 will allow all service members to play golf for free on the center’s Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible nine-hole course. Organizers hope to be able to raise $45,000 to buy three golf carts for the center.

Turkey Creek already has one disabled-accessible golf cart that was previously donated. Organizers hope they can raise enough money to buy three more carts, which cost $15,000 each, and allow disabled residents from the area to play in foursomes.

“Last time I checked, we had at least (enough money for) one, and we’re still working on money for a second,” organizer Hank Stratman said.

Stratman, a retired Army major general who served in Operation Desert Storm, the Cold War, the first Gulf War and other conflicts, said the hope is to start a yearly golf outing for veterans from around the region, during Jefferson City’s Salute to America festivities, even if it does not serve as a fundraiser in future years.

Turkey Creek has artificial turf greens, which allow wheelchairs and carts to drive on them. Disabled-accessible golf carts use hydraulics to help veterans or other disabled people with severe disabilities stand or pivot their seat so they can swing a golf club.

Disabled golfers at the event will be able to use the existing disabled-accessible cart or other carts if their disabilities allow them to use regular golf carts, Stratman said.

Participants will also be able to fish from an ADA-accessible dock on the center’s 3-acre lake. Volunteer golf pros and volunteers from Runge Nature Center will be on hand to help golfers and anglers.

Sponsorships cost $600 for one participant and $2,000 to sponsor a team of four. Area hotels are offering special rates for veterans who come to town for the holiday’s events. Food, music and a cool place for participants to take a break from the festivities will also be available during the outing.

Stratman said people can donate money or volunteer to pass out T-shirts and help golfers on the day. Donations can be sent to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1003 at 217 E. Capitol Ave. and be addressed to A Hero’s Outing, Stratman said.

“Any donation is acceptable,” Stratman said.

For more information, call Turkey Creek owner Danny Baumgartner at 573-659-1961 or Pat Rowe Kerr at 573-462-9531. For information and sponsorship forms, email heroesouting@gmail.com.