Harbor sponsors Night Golf fundraiser on Aug. 24Written by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Toledoans will soon light up the night at a charity golf game in support of Harbor, the largest mental health provider in Northwest Ohio.
The fifth annual Night Golf starts at 6 p.m. Aug. 24, rain or shine. Groundskeepers at Bedford Hills Golf Course will illuminate the Wolverine and Buckeye courses with glow sticks symbolizing different hazards and guiding players through the course. Even the balls come in five different glowing shades.
“Green is the color they line going up the center of the fairway, so again, that’s your beacon,” said Jean Drees, director of marketing at Harbor. “It’s kind of like watching fireworks. You just hear laughter and you see a pink ball in the air and you see the green ball going that way.”
“It’s loads of fun. It’s so different from anything I’ve ever done,” said Janie Sulaica, director of human resources at Harbor.
The event kicks off with dinner provided by Texas Roadhouse at 6 p.m. and tee time occurs at 8:45 p.m. Prize raffles will give patrons a chance to take home loot like electronic gadgets and gift baskets. Each eventgoer is automatically entered to win a special prize as well.
The 36 teams of five will also compete to take home a trophy they can keep until the next Night Golf.
“This is party golf really,” said Stacey Dunbar, assistant vice president of Huntington Insurance, which has sponsored the event for all five years. There will also be a contest to see who can hit a frozen marshmallow the farthest.
Rock band Razor Sharp Objects will provide entertainment until midnight. The group has been known to encourage cartwheeling on the course, Drees added.
Once teams have finished their golf game, they can attend the After Glow Party, complete with pizza and coffee.
“The After Glow Party is as much fun as the rest of it. There are some teams that come out and take this seriously and bring their young guns, and they’re excited to be five under par, and the bragging rights and funny stories come out and there are those of us that are just happy to have survived,” Drees said.
Despite all the fun at the “friend-raiser,” the event also serves to raise funds for Harbor to raise awareness about its services. Drees said Harbor is aiming to raise $15,000 this year.
“We do an awful lot of good things for the community and the proceeds go directly to getting the message out about what Harbor can help families and children with,” Drees said. “Everybody needs help sometimes and that’s OK. That’s what we’re putting out there, because we know life is not steady for people. It is full of peaks and valleys, so Harbor’s one of those safety nets there for when tragedy happens.”
Dunbar said she has her own personal connections to Harbor.
“Harbor focuses on so many things. Harbor helped my family personally. My brother was killed by a drunk driver in 2007 and my nephew witnessed the death of his father; my nephew and my sister-in-law, his surviving spouse, have come to Harbor and Harbor’s helped out in a great many ways,” she said.
Harbor also offers a Mental First Aid Certification Program, which teaches mental health warning signs and ways for people to provide initial help to those with mental illness. The next session is Oct. 25-26. Registration is $175 per person or $125 for nonprofit workers. Registration is available at harbor.org.
“Everybody knows how to do the Heimlich, everybody knows how to do CPR or someone in the room usually can … mental health first aid is that same approach,” Drees said.
Sponsorships are still available for Night Golf. Signature Bank is the event’s primary sponsor. To register yourself or your team or become a sponsor, call Marlene Schmitt at (419) 720-8586 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. It costs $100 per person to play and a cash bar will be available. The deadline to register is Aug. 10.