In a tough economy, the goals of annual fundraising events are rather simple - just be a little better than the previous year.
For Baptist Bible College & Seminary's Lisa Konzelman, the school's director of annual fundraising and special events, that challenge is one she has to face in the coming weeks. Konzelman is leading the behind-the-scenes work for the school's President's Golf Classic, which is scheduled for Monday, May 20, at the Glen Oak Country Club in Waverly.
"Last year, we raised more than $67,000," Konzelman said. "We had 40 sponsors and 86 golfers."
The Classic raised an impressive amount of money for student scholarships at the school, and Konzelman is hopeful to add another large donation this time around.
The day on the links includes 18 holes of golf on one of northeastern Pennsylvania's premier courses, lunch, dinner and complimentary snacks and beverages throughout the day. Each golfer will receive a pair of Ashworth Cardiff shoes and a credit for $10 to be used at the club's pro shop.
The shoes are proving to be a draw for this year's event.
"We try to add something different each year," Konzelman said. "We wanted to provide a unique gift and have offered the golf shoe for our participants. It is the 'hot' shoe in golf right now. It goes for casual wear as well as on the course."
The Glen Oak course itself is a big factor for the event's success, a well-respected layout that is challenging as well as enjoyable to play.
"It's nice to have this held in the Clarks Summit vicinity," Konzelman said. "Being held in the area draws local business leaders and alumni for the event."
Golfers and local business sponsors help to raise funds for scholarships, the school said in a press release. The Classic is a powerful opportunity for friends of Baptist Bible College & Seminary to be involved in the work of equipping students for global Christian leadership.
Businesses form a critical foundation of support for the event.
"Sponsors see, firsthand, the direct impact the President's Golf Classic has on the lives of students," said Jim Burke, regional vice president of Luzerne Bank, the lead sponsor for the day. "By supporting this event, sponsors make possible what otherwise may be unattainable for some students. There are many students at the event. After speaking with them and hearing how grateful they are for the support, sponsors walk away knowing they have made a deep impact on the lives of many."
Burke, who chairs the event planning committee, first became involved as a participant and sponsor in 2006.
"We understand the importance of giving back to the communities we serve," he said. "We're grateful to be part of the mission BBC&S strives to achieve."
According to the school, the annual event has raised more than $800,000 for scholarships.
Some of that will come from a prize drawing held at the dinner, which allows for involvement from some non-golfers attending the event. Konzelman said there will be some technological items as well as gift certificates from local restaurants in the drawing.
"It's a nice prize drawing. There are a number of people who don't have the ability to contribute at a sponsor level," Konzelman said.
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration and golfer gifts. Lunch is served at 11 a.m. and the tournament begins with a shotgun start at noon. Dinner, along with awards and prize drawings, is at 5 p.m.
Aside from Luzerne Bank as lead sponsor, The Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children is the lunch sponsor.
Available sponsor levels
- The diamond level is $5,000, which gets the sponsor registration for six golfers; the company name or logo on course signage, premium space on the sponsor banner and website; recognition at dinner and in the tournament program; and placement of company brochures or products in golfer bags.
- The gold level is $3,500, which gets the sponsor registration for four golfers; the company name or logo on course signage, sponsor banner and website; recognition at dinner and in the tournament program; and placement of company brochures or products in golfer bags.
- The silver level is $2,500, which gets the sponsor registration for two golfers; the company name or logo on course signage, sponsor banner and website; recognition at dinner and in the tournament program; and placement of company brochures or products in golfer bags.
- The bronze level is $1,500, which gets the sponsor registration for one golfer; the company name or logo on course signage, sponsor banner and website; recognition at dinner and in the tournament program; and placement of company brochures or products in golfer bags.
- Hole sponsor is $500, which gets the company a sign with the company name on a hole, and recognition in the tournament program.
- Contest sponsor is $250, which gets the company a sign with the company name at the contest location, and recognition in the tournament program.
The Circle of Friends Donation of $100 will be applied to the student scholarship fund.