Spencer County Habitat for Humanity Golf Scramble makes fundraising fun

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By John Shindlebower

Spending a relaxing day on the golf course is a dream for many golfers, but for nearly 100 golfers who will be participating in the annual Habitat Golf Scramble this weekend at Tanglewood Golf Course, it’s also a chance to make the dreams of others possible.

The fifth annual event benefits the Spencer County Habitat for Humanity, an organization that helps to provide adequate housing for those who might otherwise be unable to obtain it through more conventional methods.

Last year’s event was such a success – 83 golfers – that organizers decided this year to spread the event out over two days to allow for more participants.

“We pretty much maxed out the facilities at Tanglewood, said Scott Street, President of the Spencer County Habitat for Humanity.

This year’s goal is for at least 100 golfers and so the decision was made to make it a two day event to accommodate all who wanted to play.

“With two days scheduled, we have space for several more foursomes,” said Street. Registration is still open and golfers can play for $40 on Friday and $50 on Saturday and the price includes green fees, golf cart, lunch or dinner a chance to win numerous door prizes. However, Street said the biggest reward is knowing that you’re helping “to provide someone decent, basic and affordable housing.” Golfers can print out a registration form by going to spencercountyhfh.com or calling him at 477-2206.

Friday’s scramble will tee off at 1 p.m. with registration at noon, while Saturday is scheduled for a 7 a.m. registration and 8 a.m. tee.

Last year, the event raised nearly $6,000 for the local chapter. Much of that was raised through hole sponsorships by local businesses and individuals. Street said there is a need for that kind of support for this weekend’s tournament as well.

“Many local businesses and individuals support us financially by sponsoring holes. The economy has been rough on everyone and hole sponsorships are down this year, but if any business or individual would like to sponsor a hole, we still have several available at $100 for one day and $150 for both days.

The local Habitat chapter was formed in 2006 with the affiliate being officially approved in 2007. They are currently working on their second home in the county. Street explained that 90 percent of all proceeds goes toward building homes locally, and a tithing philosophy sends 10 percent of the money to help a project in another country. Through that process, Spencer County’s chapter has also paid for the construction of a home in Honduras.

Street said it’s important to point out that homes are not simply given away, but Habitat works with families to help them purchase a modest home with a no-interest loan and construction. However, he said by no means is this a program that simply gives away houses.

“Partner families are selected based on three criteria – need, ability to pay and a willingness to partner,” he said.

“We look to select families that are living in overcrowded or unsafe housing, have an income sufficient to pay a small no-interest loan and be willing to invest at least 250 ‘sweat-equity’ hours toward the construction of their home.”

Street said there are plenty of families in Spencer County that could meet those requirements and would encourage all of them to apply during the next family selection opportunity.

Habitat is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff and Street said there are plenty of opportunities for others in the community to become involved.

“When people think of Habitat, they automatically think of driving a nail or sawing a board. But in reality, the actual construction of a house is only a small portion of the work that affiliates accomplish,” he said. He said the majority of the work is done by various committees of volunteers that make construction possible. He said there are plenty of opportunities to be involved, whether you’re handy with tools or not.

Street said Spencer County’s businesses, churches and organizations have been very supportive of Habitat. The goal is to build one house a year for a partner family and he said he’s confident the community can support such a goal.

“The two things we must have to build future homes are land and money. Put those two things together with our dedicated and talented Spencer County volunteers and we can provide a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ to many local families,” said Street.