The Festival of Golf is back for 2017, and there are still a few spots open for participants.
The event, run by the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation of Chatham-Kent, will take place Sept. 22 this year, again at Willow Ridge Golf & Country Club.
Once again, there will be a brand new Ford Mustang to be given to one lucky golfer.
But Mike Genge, executive director of the foundation, said they’ve added a new twist this year: one participant could walk away with $1 million if they sink a hole in one during a competition as part of the event.
There’s room for 152 golfers this year. Genge said many are returning from last year, but there are a few spots open.
With a $750 entry fee, some folks thought the idea of the Festival of Golf last year was too expensive, yet the event was a hit.
“A lot of people at the foundation thought we were crazy,” Genge said. “But it’s an entertainment day that has some golfing.”
Genge said he knew offering something unique to Chatham-Kent residents would draw attention.
“Having this experience in their hometown – they can go anywhere and do things,” he said of participants. The key is having a group of people who appreciate doing something at home that’s over the top.”
The organizers raised $55,000 for the foundation last year.
“It exceeded everybody’s expectations,” Genge said.
Remaining over the top is the challenge for this year. That’s one reason they added the potential $1 million giveaway. Genge said 10 golfers will be selected to shoot for a hole in one and win the cash.
As well as all the fun and food at each hole, there will again be a dinner and after party, where additional prizes, from a VIP box for a Windsor Spitfires game to a big-screen TV, will be given away.
And then there’s the ridiculous trophy the winning foursome receives. It stands nearly five feet tall.
Last year, Dan and Jim Lundy and Joe and Cody Evers took home the trophy and green blazers associated with the victory.
The theme this year is Golf around the Globe, Shelby Sanchuk, communications and fundraising manager with the foundation, said. Every hole will have cuisine and/or beverages from a particular country, and there will be some unique entertainment as well. Expect to see specialty drink stations, taco and sushi stations, a cigar bar, jumbo jousting and giant beer pong as some of the features this year.
Local performers Toast & Jam will play at the after party, Genge said.
Organizers are still seeking additional sponsorship to further enhance this year’s experience. Contact Genge at firstname.lastname@example.org.