Sep 3, 2020Ag World Golf Classic fundraiser at $91K (and counting) in challenging year
Despite a challenging season of COVID-19, the Ag World Golf Classic was able to continue its tradition of giving to the Ronald McDonald House in 2020.
This year, amidst masks and extra hand sanitizer, area agriculture producers, processors and industry businesses gathered to raise over $91,000 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest (RMHC) and to honor the legacy of the Ag World Golf Classic founder Warren Henninger, who passed away earlier this year. The goal is to reach $100,000 this year for the House and to honor Warren, and it’s not too late to help reach this goal by donating whatever you are able to contribute at AgWorldGolf.com.
The charity golf tournament took place on Aug. 13 at the Links at Moses Pointe in Moses Lake. Originally scheduled to be held in June with two locations — one in Kennewick in its seventh year and one in Moses Lake in its first year, both had to be rescheduled to August with the Kennewick course ultimately canceling due to COVID.
“We knew if we could hold the event we wanted to find a way to do it safely and still be able to raise funds for the House and honor Dad’s (Warren) legacy,” said Melanie Finch, Warren’s daughter and Ag World Senior Manager. “This first year in Moses Lake was a great success! Through the generosity of the 75 sponsors/donors and 145 golfers, it was another incredible year of giving to the House.”
Not only did the Golf Classic generously raise funds, it was also a special year in honoring the Founder of the Ag World Golf Classic and Ag World Support Systems, Warren Henninger, who passed away in May.
“Dad (Warren) cast a big shadow and impacted many people during his life. We are blessed to carry on his legacy through the Ag World Golf Classic. Dad’s definitely smiling down from heaven,” said Bryan Henninger, Warren’s oldest son and President of Ag World. Many wonderful memories were shared of Warren as golfers had a chance to remember him together with the Ag World team and the Henninger family. The Ag World Golf Classic was born out of a vision Warren had to support families whose children are experiencing a medical crisis and need a place to stay while their child receives care.
The Ag World Golf Classic has donated more than $425,000 over the past six years to the RMHC. This tournament is part of Ag World Support System’s campaign to make a difference in the community by supporting the Ronald McDonald House’s mission to strengthen local families and promote children’s health.
The tournament format changed this year due to COVID — instead of a shotgun start, there were rolling tee times throughout the day to ensure the health and safety of everyone. It was the same as in years past with an 18-hole scramble which included pre-packaged snacks, drinks, and giveaways along the course, as well as a box lunch, all generously provided by hole hosts: Capital Press, Meritech, Ronald McDonald House Charities Inland Northwest and Suberizer.
To help encourage golfers to give, the Ag World Golf Classic had an online auction again this year. It was a great success with prizes ranging from a night at the Couer d’Alene Resort with rounds of golf to StorOx 2.0 potato sprout inhibitor for growers, with donations by Couer d’Alene Resort, Grand Hotel, Bud Clary Ford/Honda of Moses Lake and Agri-Stor Northwest.
Mike Forness, Executive Director of the RMHC in Spokane, said: “Throughout the past 30 years Ag World Golf Classic is the most significant community fundraiser we have ever seen. On behalf of the families and children that stay at the Ronald McDonald House we say ‘Thank you Ag World!’ We see your families’ values, work values and church values as major reasons this fundraiser is so successful.”
The excitement of the tournament’s success still lingers in the minds of those who worked tirelessly to see this event happen. Judy Henninger, Warren’s wife, Ag World Administrative Executive and co-founder of the Ag World Golf Classic said: “God blessed the tournament again this year with amazing weather, attendance and generous participation! We are thankful for our hosts, sponsors, donors, many golfers and supporters who made this event such a huge success. Ag World is honored to support this worthy cause!”
Next year’s events are set for June 8, 2021 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course, in Kennewick and June 10, 2021 at the Links at Moses Pointe, in Moses Lake. Mark your calendars and join up at one or both locations. AgWorldGolf.com.
Top photo: From left, Bryan Henninger, Craig Henninger, Melanie (Henninger) Finch and Judy Henninger stand in front of a picture of Warren Henninger, who died in May, at the Ag World Golf Classic. Photo: Ag World Support Systems