It has been a super fun week at Living Well. As you know, community inclusion and support are necessary for our mission to truly thrive. Without the help of volunteers, donors, businesses, and partners in the communities we serve, our mission of transforming the lives of people impacted by disabilities by providing the delivery of exceptional services would fall flat. But with the help of many, and a collective approach to providing the very best care and embracing an intentional approach to folding ourselves seamlessly into community—we can, and do, shine.
Last weekend Living Well was once again included as a recipient of funds raised at the Tapemark Minnesota PGA Pro-Am. Founded in 1972 by Bob Klas Sr. and Pat Cody Sr., Tapemark raises critical funds for non-profit agencies serving Minnesota children and adults living with developmental disabilities and their families. The first tournament five decades ago raised $9,000, and since that first event it has raised over $7.5 million, making it one of the longest running and most successful events of its kind in the country. Now operated in partnership with the Minnesota PGA Section of the PGA of America and Minnesota Golf Charity Events, Tapemark is considered a Major Championship for the Minnesota Section and raises critical funds for community inclusion programs and services.
This year there was abundant sunshine on Friday, a bit of a rain snafu on Saturday, and another lovely day to close the event on Sunday. We had a wonderful volunteer presence, with James, Peggy and Cindi from our 3801 and 3807 houses pitching in, as well as Board Members Tony DeRose and Nicolas Tiziou, and several other staff members helping check in and greeting participants throughout the event. CEO Tom Gillespie also played in the tournament.
Tiziou had this to say about the weekend, “The Tapemark Minnesota PGA Pro-Am is certainly a not-to-be-missed golf event in Minnesota. Being able to volunteer and co-represent Living Well at this Major Championship of the Minnesota Section PGA is not only an honor but also a great way to engage with people from many different backgrounds. You meet and interact with professional players, other volunteers, members of other non-profit organizations as well as families and other golf fans. And what a fantastic way to spend a few hours with great company, enjoying the beautiful Minnesotan Spring, and the fantastic nature surrounding us. I can only encourage you all to block your agendas for next year’s tournament and book your volunteer shifts!”
It was a beautiful weekend. Everyone had a blast, and more importantly we were given space to be a part of the event, as well as receive a generous donation. The exact amount is still being determined, but so far with sponsor help they have raised $60,000 to be given to four charities, including Living Well.
Then to top off the excitement, on Tuesday Living Well was invited to a check presentation at Walser Subaru in South St Paul, where we were given a check for … $17,728!
Living Well is honored to be the chosen local nonprofit for their participation in the Subaru Shares the Love program which was started 15 years ago to help those who need it the most. For every new vehicle purchased or leased from their lot last November 17 through January 3, they donated $250 to one of four national charities, with an additional $50 going to a hometown charity. Each dealership gets to choose their hometown charity, and we were fortunate that Walser Subaru St. Paul chose Living Well as their hometown partner!
Brycen Eberwein, General Manager, says of the partnership, “It was extremely important to me to partner with an organization making a difference in our local community and I know we found that with Living Well. I’m proud to represent Walser and Subaru with our donation to Living Well and know that our contribution will go to help those that need it most. Getting to know Rodney, Alex and the rest of the team has been amazing, and I look forward to all the good we can do together in the future.”
It feels incredible to be supported by the communities we hold dear. And we are forever grateful to the teams at Walser Subaru St Paul and Tapemark for their advocacy and dedication our mission.
Knowing that everyone at Tapemark who played or participated in any way, and that the people who work at and shop Walser Subaru St Paul, now collectively know a little more about disability services and the disability community by virtue of our being included in their events, means a lot. A huge thank you to both organizations for understanding that disability is diversity, and inclusion is essential. We appreciate the work you do, the exposure you provided us, and of course the donations. You have made a huge impact on the lives of people living with disabilities.