Green for Green Golf Tournament Turns to Gold
By: Betsy Zatkulak
Every color has meaning. Red is connected to power, war and passion. Yellow brings energy, happiness and intellect to the forefront.
Green is rich with meaning. Green embodies great healing power; is commonly associated with money and has a strong emotional connection to safety; and in all of its radiance, green is the color of nature.
And sometimes green turns to gold as it did for many at the Town & Country and Creve Coeur Green for Green Golf Tournament at Annbriar Golf Course in Waterloo, Ill. on May 25 – including Kirkwood resident, Dan McGinnis, who won the hole-in-one contest and soon will be handed the keys to a brand new $59,000 Audi A5 convertible.
The hole-in-one tournament was sponsored by Plaza Motors.
This marks the seventh year for the Green for Green Golf Tournament, and the third year that the Creve Coeur and Town & Country Police Departments have teamed up to host the event in an effort to raise money for local nonprofit organizations and to help officers injured, or the families of officers killed, in the line of duty.
Creve Coeur Police Officer Neal Kohrs and Town & Country Police Officer Paul Wilson served as the tournament’s co-chairs.
“(The tournament) is a way for both of our police departments to give back to the community –especially local charities in need of aid or assistance financially,” Kohrs said.
Approximately $125,000 has been raised since the tournament’s inception. This year’s tournament grossed $35,000.
While it has not been determined which charities will benefit from this year’s tournament, last year’s recipients included: Backstoppers, Responder Rescue, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Ronald McDonald House and Missouri Special Olympics.
The tournament also serves as an avenue to assist police officers who have been injured in the line of duty. One such officer is Matt Crosby of the Rock Hill Police Department who was shot and paralyzed after responding to a domestic assault call on April 8, 2010.
Officer Crosby attended the tournament this year with his family and kids and was presented with a $500 check.
Another $500 check was presented one week after the golf tournament at a fundraiser in honor of Florissant Police Officer Mike Vernon, who was shot and remains paralyzed after responding to a burglary on May 28, 2012.
“That’s why we do this – to help them in their time of need,” said Wilson. “To help them not worry as much about their financial situation.”
As for McGinnis who shot his first hole-in-one and won the much-coveted Audi A5 luxury convertible, he said the moment was unforgettable and “kind of surreal.”
“It looked good and we were kind of giving that body language, left and right, and then I saw it hit the green and then it rolled over a little hill …,” said McGinnis. But he could not see where it had landed.
Then the roar came and people started going crazy.
“It kind of reminded me of when the Cardinals won game six of the World Series. … they just kept cheering and never stopped. So we knew it wasn’t just a good shot but that it must have gone in.”
Former St. Louis Cardinals baseball manager Whitey Herzog, former St. Louis Blues hockey players Al Macinnis, Keith Tkachuck and Bobby Plager; and former PGA, Senior PGA and Creve Coeur resident Larry Ziegler also played for the Green.
Former St. Louis Blues hockey player Tony Twist conducted the sport memorabilia auction, which raised $4,000.
Lunch was provided by GC Brewery and for the first time ever, the Green for Green charity golf tournament had a corporate sponsor.
“Special thanks to Ray and Shawn Vinson of Vinson Mortgage Group, who helped us out tremendously and with their corporate donation we were able to help out more charities and donate more money to charities that we help,” said Wilson.
Wilson also praised local businesses and citizens throughout Creve Coeur, Town & Country and the greater St. Louis area who gave their time and resources to make this year’s tournament a success.
“It really was a great day,” Wilson said.
For more information on how to help support the tournament next year, contact Creve Coeur Police Officer Neal Kohrs at firstname.lastname@example.org.