Beautiful Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown was once again the host course for the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Golf Tournament. This is the 25th year the Chamber has had this event, a networking and fun benefit event for North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce members and their families. Proceeds from the event this year benefited the North Kingstown Charitable Foundation which was formed to “promote and encourage charitable giving within North Kingstown” as well as Special Olympics North Kingstown, who “inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.” Having worked with members of the North Kingstown Charitable Foundation as well as the NK Special Olympics program, I can tell you that the money raised will go to very, very worthy charities here in North Kingstown.
I sat down with the new Executive Director of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, Kristin Urbach, for a recap on the tournament. Kristin has only been with North Kingstown Chamber for a few months, having taken over for Martha Pughe in the late spring. Her attention to detail and forward thinking marketing ideas have already made a huge impact, and they were on full display for the annual golf tournament this year. The final numbers were not available for our meeting and will be announced at a ceremony on September 17th, however Kristin did mention that this year produced a 20% increase in money received from last year. I asked Kristin about this increase and what she felt the reasons were. “I made a few changes to the overall marketing aspect of the event,” Kristin said “I would say the overall value of the raffle prizes (baskets) were at a much higher value than in years past. Our staff made sure the presentation and visuals were excellent so people could see what they were bidding on, instead of a envelope or gift card with the prize listed.” Kristin was referring to the incredible line-up of raffle prizes donated by local merchants, which ranged from aroma baskets to furniture to a Wickford day out package. “The tone of the merchants in town was incredible,” stated Urbach. “We just felt that through social media marketing, the improved program which was handed out to the 120+ guests and golfers, and the great visuals that our sponsors (meaning local businesses) got the maximum amount of exposure. This was our goal and we felt very strongly that was achieved.”
The tournament started on a hot August late morning around 11:30 and included some 120 participants. Each golfer received 3 golf balls and a golf towel courtesy of Anvil International. Comfort stations were set up on the 6th and 14th holes. This year, Massage Envy were on site to provide chair massages. After 18 holes, dinner was served which according to Urbach “went very smoothly.” Special Olympics hero and coach Lisa McKay along with two incredible athletes, Molly McKay and Andrew Zola provided the crowd with an emotional presentation that left everyone wanting to hear more about how to help the North Kingstown Special Olympics. Kristin even mentioned that after Coach Lisa, Molly, and Andrew spoke that the raffle prize donations had a huge surge. Hearing how their donations would benefit not only the Special Olympics but also the great work of the North Kingstown Charitable Foundation made the golfers reach deeper in their pockets to donate to charity. Urbach and her Chamber staff were told by the participants “we had fun, a really good time” and “this was a really classy, fun, and energetic event.”
This tournament is just one of many great networking and benefit events the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce is hosting this fall. If you are a member of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, you are already on the contact list for events, so stay tuned to your email and watch out for announcements on the Facebook page of the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce by clicking here. If you are not a member, feel free to contact their office to learn more about the benefits of joining the Chamber. And thank you to the Chamber and all of the participating sponsors who helped two incredible local charities make a positive difference in our community. A complete list of the sponsors is available upon request through the NK Blog or through the North Kingstown Chamber of Commerce office.