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Fore Solon golf tournament July 9

New group to direct first year funds toward community center

SOLON– Fore!
A trio of local residents, with deep roots in city and school government, have banded together to organize a new annual charity golf tournament to benefit Solon’s youth.
Fore Solon’s three-person best shot golf outing will be held Monday, July 9, at Saddleback Golf Course, with an 11:30 a.m. lunch and a 1 p.m. shotgun start.
“This is going to be something we see as an ongoing, annual event,” Steve Duncan said.
Duncan, a current city council member and a former school administrator, and Jim Hauer and Rick Jedlicka, both current school board members, talked about the idea for some time, along with spouses Barb Duncan, Terri Jedlicka and Jan Miller.
The idea came from Hauer’s experience helping run a similar annual event in West Union, which raised about $460,000 over 11 years to the benefit of the West Union Recreation Center and the local school district.
“People bought into the idea,” he said. “To me, it’s real easy to ask for donations when it’s going to the youth.”
The same general concept is being transplanted for the Solon effort.
Duncan also orchestrated similar golf tournaments during his time at Valley High School, in West Des Moines.
“When we came to Solon, we talked about it a couple of different times, and this year the timing was just right to get it started,” Hauer said. “Steve and Rick and I got together and said ‘let’s get it started.’”
The six initial organizers pulled in Sarah and Chris Knight, Betsy and Curtis Hendrickson (both daughters to Duncan) and Adam and Kendra Haluska to fill out the 12-member initial committee.
“We just grabbed people that we knew on the younger side to help us,” he said.
Duncan thinks the group will grow over time to be more inclusive of the community, infused with young families who can carry the tradition forward.
“It’s just another resource for youth groups to come to that have a need,” Duncan said.
This year, the community center seemed a pretty natural choice to receive the funds raised at the inaugural event.
“The city really didn’t have any budget for this, the school didn’t,” Hauer said. “I don’t think we’ll have a problem spending it for the community center.”
The group compiled a small list of possible amenities which could be purchased, including a computer lab, preschool play area, pool tables recreation equipment or neighborhood playground equipment.
Everything this year will go toward the Solon Community Center, but in the future, Duncan hopes the Fore Solon committee will be able to pick a major project each year and still have enough funds leftover for other requests.
“We would invite people to reach out ask us for funds,” Hauer said.
Defined by its mission statement as “An organization whose passion is to provide resources for Solon youth as they grow up within our community,” the Fore Solon committee will keeps its focus on a single event, the charity golf outing, a year.

With about a month to go before the tournament, Duncan thinks the event is in good shape.
The first 48 paid teams will be in the event, and the group is hoping to fill the roster in advance to avoid day-of signups.
The entry fee, $100 per person or $300 per team, includes greens fees, cart, lunch, dinner and complimentary range balls. The range will open to participants at 11 a.m.
“From the golfer’s perspective, it’s a heck of a deal,” Duncan said.
“We’re offering a lot and we’re able to do that because we’ve got some kind people that are sponsoring the lunch, going to sponsor the dinner.”
Duncan and Hauer singled out Saddleback owner Ron Rushek for his support of the fundraiser, and used his advice to decide the three-person best shot format.
“You may have a threesome that wants to play against another threesome,” Duncan said. “We can accommodate that.”
There will be men’s and women’s divisions, with mixed couples allowed but playing in the men’s competition. Five women’s groups have already signed up, Duncan noted.
There will also be a silent and live auction, and Duncan encouraged those who won’t be playing the course to show up and browse.
“We’re getting some awfully good live auction items,” he said.
There are other ways to get involved in the event as well, Duncan said. “You don’t have to be a golfer to be involved in this.”
“If somebody can’t play golf and they can’t come to the event, they can donate something for the auction,” Hauer noted. “The more participation the better.”
Tee box sponsorships are being offered for $100 each, as are additional opportunities for larger donations, from $200 to $5,000 and above.
Contributions are tax-deductible. Fore Solon is utilizing the city to process payments for the inaugural year, but expects to have its own non-profit status in place for 2019.
Two weeks ago when he mentioned the charity outing to people, Hauer didn’t get much of a response.
Now, the word is spreading, he said.
“The golf tournament’s a vehicle to get us to our goal,” Hauer said. “It’s to get people there.”
Mail registration forms and payment to Susie Siddell at Solon City Hall, 101 N. Iowa St. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted forms of payment.
Brochures are available at Solon City Hall, Solon American Legion, Bridge Community Bank and Solon State Bank. Contact Duncan at 515-360-3728 or email sduncan66@gmail.com for more information.
“It’ll be a great time,” Duncan concluded.