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Kinship mini-tourney declared a rousing success by golfers

Kinship board vice president, Kathy Peterson, leaps for joy after making a hole-in-one at the Evergreen Gifts and Fun Park benefit for Kinship. (Submitted photo)

Evergreen Gifts and Fun Park sponsored a mini-golf tournament Monday evening, June 20 as a benefit for Kinship, the local mentoring program for kids. The unique fundraiser had 33 teams of three or four persons of all ages play a round of 18 holes at the amusement park north of Park Rapids.

  Tournament golfers were especially challenged at several "wacky" holes where they were required to use a walking stick, baseball bat or toy hockey stick rather than a putter; at another hole the golfers were blindfolded.

Prizes were awarded for several different categories and often three and four-way ties had to be broken with a draw.

  The tournament itself was declared the big winner.

"Folks certainly had a good time," said Renee Brauer, president of the Kinship Board. "Many of them thought it was a great idea and said they hoped we would do it again.

Brauer was pleased with the number of area businesses that sponsored teams as well as the families and friends who played. "We are very grateful to the Atwoods," she said, "and to everyone who joined in the fun."

  Tom and Barb Atwood, owners of Evergreen, declared Kinship as their official charitable organization this year. Pleased with the turnout and frequent cheers and laughter, they suggested this year's event could be renamed the first annual Kinship Mini-Golf Tournament. Kinship personnel were quick to agree.

  "This is a dream-come- true kind of event," said Kinship executive director, Jennifer Therkilsen who prefers to spend her time recruiting mentors for Kinship's growing waiting list rather than organizing fundraisers. "The Atwoods not only hosted, but also staffed the tournament, provided prizes and kept the snack bar open for guests. All we had to do was get the people to come. "