HIGH SPRINGS ‒ The local Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe sponsored a golf tournament in High Springs this week, but it wasn't a professional golf tournament, it was a miniature golf tournament for charity featuring teams consisting of local families and city employees to raise money for the Kiwanis programs for children.

The Kiwanis of Santa Fe is a local chapter of the Kiwanis International, which is a global community of clubs dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time. Founded in 1915, the organization's motto is "Serving the Children of the World."

Today the organization has more than 550,000 members in 80 countries, host nearly 150,000 service projects each year and raises nearly $100 million every year for communities, families and projects. Since each community has different needs, the Kiwanis empowers members to pursue creative ways to serve the needs of children, such as fighting hunger, improving literacy and offering guidance.

David Miller, general manager of the Pink Flamingo Diner, is also a lifelong Kiwanis member. “Several months ago, the club approached me about hosting a golf tournament on the Diner's miniature golf course,” Miller said. “We had heard about professional tournaments on miniature courses and decided that this would be a good opportunity to both benefit the Kiwanis cause and use the course for charity and plan for future tournaments.”

Local businesses were enthusiastic about sponsoring the competition and providing prizes for the winners. Campus USA, Waste Pro, High Springs City Parks and Recreation, Porta Serve, Attorney Thomas Weller and Edward Jones company supplied monetary funds or prizes. The Pink Flamingo lowered their usual charge to play from $8 to $6 for adults and $4 for children. Of that fee, $2 of each entry was donated to the Kiwanis to support their projects. The Kiwanis also increased participation with a potluck prize.

The first round was a family round with parents and children up to age 12 on four-person teams. The top three teams won prize baskets ranging from $45 to $120. Family team winners were first place Maggie Hewlett, second place the Santos family playing under the family plumbing business name of Plumb Ultimate, and third place went to the MacNeil family.

In addition to the prize baskets, any child that made Par 3 (three shots per hole) and any adult that made Bogey (two shots per hole) received a free ice cream cone courtesy of the Pink Flamingo.

Family play was followed by eight adult teams of four players each. Winners for the adult round were High Springs Park and Recreation Department in first place, followed by the Nate team in second place and Susan Ladd's team taking third place. While the event was meant to be a fun time for all involved, it also raised $1,400 for the Kiwanis projects.

#     #     #

Email rcarson@