Community leaders, business owners, and golf lovers filled Forest Park Golf Course Thursday morning for the Boys & Girls Club of Porter County's 34th annual golf event.
Children participating in Boys & Girls Club programs ferried golfers' bags to their golf carts while volunteers served hot dogs, brats, and donuts donated by County Line Orchard.
"This is one of our signature fundraisers," Cathie Dull, Boys & Girls Club Assistant Director of Resource Development said. "This is our biggest outing yet with 172 golfers out to enjoy this unbelievably great day. We could not be more fortunate!"
As people chatted, mingled and enjoyed their picnic style lunch, it became apparent that many of the golfers knew each other from many years of supporting the Boys & Girls Club.
"We have people who have been with us for a very long time," Dull said. "We're so grateful for their support, not only for this event, but also for our mission and what we do for our kids. We couldn't do what we do without their support."
The Boys & Girls Club of Porter County works tirelessly to provide the best education and care possible for our community's younger citizens.
"The Boys & Girls Club provides after school programs and support for nearly 5,000 children in Porter County," Dull said. "Our programs focus on youth development – including academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles."
This mission relies on generosity and support from the community, especially volunteers.
"Our programs are working to make sure that no child goes unsafe or unguided," Michael Simpson, president of M.E. Simpson and board member of the Boys & Girls Club said. "We need to honor a very special person who has been a volunteer for over 20 years. We present Robin Carey with the National Service to Youth Award."
Sponsors are as crucial as volunteers to the Boys & Girls Clubs' continued success.
In addition to being the most successful year in terms of number of golfers, the Boys & Girls Club also had a record-breaking number of sponsors.
"Our sponsors are awesome! We have a record number of sponsors this year," Dull said. "They're from every sector of the community. We have community leaders, corporations, small businesses, large businesses, you name it."
This year's leading sponsors included: M.E. Simpson and Lakeside Wealth Management. NIPSCO served as the on course game sponsor, and Miller Lite sponsored the beverage cart.
"Really, investing in kids futures is an investment in our own future," Dull said. "It resonates with so many people. Kids lives are not easy today. They're just not. So many people are generous, supportive, and caring to make sure Boys & Girls Club exists so that these kids have a fighting chance."