The Circle K Junior Championship hosted by Otter Creek has been named the recipient of the 2018 Game Changer Award by the American Junior Golf Association.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most game changing event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best AJGA Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2018 season will be presented on-site at 2019 tournaments.
“This award validates work completed the past six years to grow our fundraising efforts to have a significant financial impact for our charitable partners,” said John Fairbanks, Tournament Chair. “We are humbled by the recognition and appreciate the large number of people who have contributed to our success.”
One of the keys to success for the tournament was the addition of Circle K as the title sponsor in 2018. They helped increase tournament revenue from $42,000 in 2017 to $76,000 in 2018 and their net proceeds increased from $3,000 to $26,000 to support the First Tee of Indiana and the ACE Grant.
“The willingness of Circle K to reach out to their national and international vendors to offer an opportunity to participate in the tournament fundraising effort moved the needle in a major way,” said Fairbanks.
Players and volunteers also saw improvements to their overall experience at the tournament. Players had the opportunity to play in a new 9-hole Polar Pop challenge where the winner received free Polar Pops for a year. Circle K also gave backpacks to volunteers, provided Polar Pop cups to the tournament field, AJGA staff and committee, and donated two ice machines to help beat the heat.
“Our exceptional volunteers and dedicated tournament committee make this event special, said John Fairbanks. “Details matter. AJGA players often comment that there are so many spotters on each hole it feels like a PGA event.”
In 2019 the tournament committee looks to continue to increase their fundraising goal and increase the variety of volunteer opportunities, so community members can embrace the chance to fund life changing activities for the youth of Columbus. The Circle K Junior Championship hosted by Otter Creek returns to the 2019 schedule, July 1-4.