The Military Warriors Support Foundation received the benefits of 58,282 sit-ups in 40 hours to commemorate of the 40-year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.
Norm Major, Pella engineering coordinator, is a passionate golfer. So it came as no surprise that it was on the golf course in Albia, Iowa when an ingenious idea came to him — why not use his love of the game to benefit an important landmark in his community? With that, the golf tournament to support the Welcome Home Soldier Memorial in Albia was born.
The memorial honors all United States veterans, living or deceased. It features 100 U.S. flags, 21 crosses to represent the 21-gun salute, and a granite wall that holds the veterans’ names.
“I’m very thankful to our vets,” said Norm. “The military is not something I’ve ever been a part of, so I feel it’s important to pay them back.”
When Norm asked Jim Keller, president of the Welcome Home Soldier board of directors, if he could hold a tournament to benefit the memorial, he stipulated that part of the funds raised would go to veterans whose families could not afford to place their names on the memorial. The rest would go to the memorial in general. Jim loved the idea and Norm got to work.
Norm organized almost the entire tournament himself, which required extensive time soliciting donations and raffle prizes.
“We had a lot of involvement, including local donors and some from Pella Corporation, the Pella community and surrounding towns. About $1,000 was raised for the prize fund and $3,000 worth of raffle prizes, mostly gift cards and certificates,” said Norm. He was so impressed with the generosity that he personally delivered a thank you to the donors after the event.
From admission fees and other monetary donations, $4,100 was raised for the memorial.
Even the tournament structure took some ingenuity. It is a four-person best ball game. Each player hits the ball, then on the next stroke each player gets to shoot from the best position of the previous four shots, continuing until they complete the hole.
Norm himself played on a team with his wife and two brand-new golfers. “Everyone had a blast,” he said. “Many golfers came up to me and said how much fun they were having.”
While the amount of work to organize the event was immense, Norm isn’t letting that stop him—he is already talking about next year’s tournament.