Matt Townsley watches a chip shot during the sixth round of his marathon golf outing to raise money for renovations at the Plainwell Veterans’ Memorial. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Marathon golf outing raises money for veterans’ memorial

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

Matt Townsley enjoys playing golf. He also enjoys getting involved to help out with a good cause.
On Monday, June 24, he found a way to combine those two things.
Teeing off on his first hole at 5:57 a.m., Townsley completed a marathon day of golfing at Lake Doster Golf Club to raise money for a proposed renovation project at the Plainwell Veterans’ Memorial located in Sherwood Park.
The idea for the fundraiser was the brainchild of John Roggow, the president of Friends of the Greater Plainwell Veterans’ Memorial.
“John came to me with the idea, asking if it was something I’d be interested in,” said Townsley, who is an assistant pro at Lake Doster. “It’s a great cause, so I was definitely on board.
“It’s such a great cause. There are a lot of great causes, but anything that honors our veterans is really special and I’m honored to be involved.”
Lake Doster head pro Matt Rayman helped with the logistics of the event.
“I’m so grateful to both Matts, Townsley and Rayman,” Roggow said. “Obviously Matt Townsley who was out there, hole after hole, and I can’t thank him enough. And I’m also thankful to Matt Rayman for being willing to let us use the golf course and for giving Matt Townsley the day off to do it.
“We couldn’t have done this without all the support from the staff at Lake Doster Golf Club and we appreciate everything they did.”
According to Roggow, Friends of the Greater Plainwell Veterans’ Memorial are hoping to raise $30,000 for the proposed renovations to the memorial. He estimates Townsley’s marathon golf outing will bring in between $2,500 and $3,000.
“That’s a good chunk right there,” said Roggow, who followed Townsley throughout the day to record his scores and provide moral support.
Much of the money raised came from flat donations, including several golfers on the course after they found out about Townsley’s endeavor. Other people donated money for each hole finished, with additional donations for each birdie.
Townsley had planned on continuing his outing until 6 p.m., but was forced to stop early due to rain. Still, he completed eight 18-hole rounds for a total of 144 holes.
In terms of the renovations to the Plainwell Veterans’ Memorial—which is approaching its 10-year anniversary after being dedicated in November of 2009—additional space will be created for bricks that people can purchase.
“All the spaces we had for bricks are gone, so we want to add more,” Roggow said. “We’re also going to beautify the area around the memorial, adding some picnic tables and benches in certain areas.”
Friends of the Greater Plainwell Veterans’ Memorial is working closely with the City of Plainwell on the renovation plan.
“Since the memorial is in a city park, the city owns it,” Roggow said. “But when we put it in, we wanted to make sure the city didn’t have to worry about paying for the upkeep. They’ve been good partners with us to make the memorial as good as it can be.”
To donate to the memorial renovation or for more information, visit www.friendsofthegreaterplainwellveteransmemorial.org.

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