Kiwanis of Maryville members ‘drive’ to record-setting fundraising

The ninth annual Maryville Kiwanis Foundation Golf Tournament held April 4 raised a record amount of money to support Imagination Library and Maryville Kiwanis Adventure Camp.

Robert Russell, president of the Kiwanis Club of Maryville, said the tournament brought in $27,300 before expenses and netted $21,700. “Both are records. We’ve been doing it for nine years, and this was the highest net we’ve ever had - $2,400 higher than the next highest amount, so it was a very, very good, record-setting year,” he said.

Russell said the focus of the golf tournament is to raise money for the Maryville Kiwanis Foundation. “The foundation primarily funds two things -- Imagination Library that we provide $53,000 a year to keep in Blount County and our Maryville Kiwanis Adventure Camp at Camp Wesley Woods,” he said. “We contribute $9,000 a year to this, and the golf tournament raises a very large percentage of the overall funding for both those program.”

The club president said the tournament had record-setting major sponsors and hole sponsors. “We had the same number of players as last year - 76 players on teams of four,” he said. “We had seven major sponsors at a $1,000 a piece and 45 hole sponsors at $250 a piece and all players paid $100 a piece to play.”

Russell said preparations went very smoothly. “The biggest challenge was for the players because it was a very windy day,” he said. “For the Maryville Kiwanis members, it was a very successful golf tournament.”

The club president said there also was an internal competition between Alcoa High School and Heritage High School golf teams. “The Alcoa team edged out Heritage by one stroke. Both are really good teams,” Russell said. “They both won quite a few prizes. Heritage High School was the second flight winner overall and got $150 in prizes each.”

Russell said club members find it is easy to get excited about the event each year.

The club president characterized the members on the golf committee as being very committed. “They understand this is not just about golf,” he said. “Golf is a mechanism we use to raise very much needed funds,” he said.

Russell said it also isn’t difficult to get Kiwanis Club member to participate. “We had 42 percent of Maryville Kiwanis members participating in this project, which is a very high percentage for a civic club for any project, and we have 118 members,” he said. “The main people to thank are the sponsors and players, but primarily, Wilson Borden, the golf committee chair, and the Maryville Kiwanis Foundation Golf Committee, along with the entire Maryville-Blount community. They have been very generous in supporting this for nine years.”

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