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Jeff Wallace Memorial Golf Outing tees off Saturday

Courtesy Photo Golfers prepare to take to the course during the annual Jeff Wallace Memorial Golf Outing at River’s Edge Golf Club in Alpena. The eighth annual Jeff Wallace Memorial Golf Outing begins this Saturday as the popular tradition has once again maxed out, consisting of 32 teams and 128 golfers.

ALPENA — For the past seven years, an annual golf outing with interesting twists has been a sought after event by many in the community.

This year will be no different as a special tradition continues on Saturday as golfers tee off for the eighth annual Jeff Wallace Memorial Golf Outing at River’s Edge Golf Club.

Dylan Wallace came up with the idea to honor his father who had passed away in 2013 by doing a memorial golf outing in honor of his father Jeff Wallace who was involved in many local groups and organizations.

Not only was the event put in place to honor Jeff Wallace and to allow people a day of enjoyment, but the event was put together by Dylan Wallace and his supporters and participants as a fundraiser to give back to the community. With the help of his sister Chelsea, the event has since taken off.

“Originally the beneficiary was the hospital as we donated approximately $40-50 thousand to the hospital for their emergency room project. This year we’re donating money back into youth sports locally which is more affiliated with my dad because he coached and was on all of the boards,” Wallace said. “This gives us a new kind of avenue that gives us an idea of how we’re going to be benefiting. This year we made a $10,000 commitment to Alpena Huron Shore Babe Ruth toward improvements to the fields. We want to be able to give our kids safe and good resources to host tournaments and have facilities that we are proud of.”

Courtesy Photo Participants compete in the unique challenges of the annual Jeff Wallace Memorial Golf Outing. Each hole features a unique challenge and prizes donated by area businesses and given away at each hole.

The first outing consisted of 76 participants and raised $6,000 and the numbers have continued to grow.

The past two years, the outing maxed out with 32 teams and 128 golfers and this year was no different as the event maxed out less than 24 hours after registration opened.

“We have a great support system, a lot of generous people who donate their time and efforts to help raise money toward the event. I can’t thank my sister Chelsea enough for what she does to make this such a success. Life would definitely be much harder for me without her. It feels great for me because I have my dad’s picture and name plastered on a bunch of things and I’m trying to keep his legacy going,” Wallace said. “It’s grown into this thing where we want to try and help out the kids in our area. We’ve purchased equipment for kids who may not be able to afford certain equipment and we’ve purchased nets for the APlex to go with their new turf for their indoor soccer facility. We’re just trying to help give kids opportunities to be able to get out there and play with good equipment while we make larger donations to improve our facilities locally as well.”

Friends and colleagues make donations every year and allow nice prizes to be given away at the event. The number one goal for Wallace is for everyone to have fun.

“We always get plenty of support from community businesses and families. I think it’s just a testament to how appreciated my dad was within the community. He loved to get together with friends, enjoy a few adult beverages, let his hair down and have a good time and that’s exactly what this outing allows people to do,” Wallace said. “Fun is always most important for us. Raising money will come if people are having fun and enjoying themselves and come back each year. We give away a bunch of prizes so everyone gets a chance to win something.”

One of the more exciting twists about this golf outing and what makes this event unique is the fact that participants don’t necessarily need to be a good golfer to win prizes

There are different events at each hole consisting of different prizes including driving the longest ball using a baseball bat, shooting a golf ball out of an air cannon, throwing a golf club further than anyone else, longest drive with a marshmallow, the longest drive off of a beer can, a hole-in-one challenge to win a car or to win $10,000 and much more unique contests and challenges for a chance to win great prizes each year on the second Saturday in June.

“For me these ideas just came to me from everything that I’ve always wanted to do on a golf course that you can’t usually do and just have fun doing it,” Wallace said. “We always have the event on the second Saturday of June and it always seems like the perfect kickoff to our awesome summer months here in Alpena.”

Registration was $85 a golfer and this fee covers the golf, lunch, t-shirts and other small giveaways and whatever is left goes into the pot for prizes for the event.

The commitment for this year is to help raise money for betterment of The Huron Shores Complex and McRae park. In the future, Wallace hopes to continue raising money with this event to help youth sports and any and all organizations that are in need and currently plans on giving back to both golf courses for their youth golf program.

“For me personally, the satisfaction is on multiple levels. One, it’s doing something that I know my dad would be proud of because he spent a lot of his time coaching and mentoring young men and women while being on boards to help support my growth as a kid as I came up,” Wallace said. “Secondly, there’s a need and it’s personally satisfying to say that we can contribute to making things better for kids that are doing the same things that we used to do.”

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