11th Annual Homeless Veteran Golf Scramble

The 11th Annual Homeless Veteran Golf Scramble Friday, August 3, 2012 was a great day of fun at the Iroquois Golf Course as Interlink Counseling Services, Inc. along with John Shanchuk and Donnie Kamenish of John E’s Restaurant co-hosted Interlink’s 11th Annual Homeless Veteran Golf Scramble.

A rainy morning greeted the golfers as they began arriving around 7:30 AM to register for their teams. As they walked toward the building, many stopped and eagerly purchased raffle tickets for Interlink’s “Golf Drop” (closest to the hole) competition, which gave participants the chance to win a Kindle Fire. Around 8:30 AM, the selling ended, and a bucket full of ping pong balls, which were numbered according to the tickets sold, was thrown onto the green by Coach Crum. The ball that was “closest to the hole” was verified by the Event Coordinator, Richard Waddell and John Shanchuk, and Coach Denny Crum announced the lucky number.

Also during the morning, a long drive demonstration was given by Long Drive Champion, Matt Schulten, who every year generously donates his time to raise funds for Interlink during its Golf Scramble. Throughout the day, Mr. Schulten offers his talent to fortunate golfers who are willing to “hire” him to drive their balls on Hole 13, the longest par 5 hole on the golf course. Golfers are given the opportunity to use his drive (approximately 350 yards!) as their own, and if they can make their putt within eight (8) feet of the hole, they can receive a double eagle. In return for his efforts, Mr. Schulten collects a small donation, which is given directly to Interlink.

Immediately following the activities of the morning, the golfers jumped into their carts and drove toward their respective starting holes; the scramble had begun! Throughout the morning and afternoon to follow, carts whizzed back and forth as teams competed to attain the top score of the day. The camaraderie gained during this event was invaluable.

Special guests, U of L Coach Denny Crum, Sportscaster Dave Jennings and Tony Cruz, held their weekly broadcast under the pavilion while the scramble took place. Some of the topics they discussed were basketball, sports strategy, and occasionally news from the golf course for the Interlink Counseling Services Annual Homeless Veteran Golf Scramble. Seeing Coach Denny Crum is always a pleasure, and he makes a special effort to attend many of Interlink’s events throughout the year.

One of the recurring treats the golfers always enjoy is grilled barbeque bologna and sliced onions. As the golfers finish hole 18, they pose near the pavilion for a team photo. Afterward, they rush into the pavilion for a cold drink and three or four big slices of the bologna and onions. After finishing their snack, the golfers hurry back into their carts and head toward the next hole. The newly crowned ‘King of Bologna’ was Lon Whitfill, a longstanding friend of John Shanchuk. A special thanks to Mr. Whitfill for mastering the grill and serving some of the best barbequed bologna that anyone had tasted.

Most of the golfers were finished by approximately 1:30 PM. When the golfers returned to the pavilion, it had been converted into a “19th hole banquet” where co-host Donnie Kamenish introduced in a delicious, catered meal from John E’s Restaurant. The golfers ate as Mr. Shanchuk and Interlink Event Coordinator, Richard Waddell, assisted in awarding the First Place Team with a dozen high quality golf balls.

After prizes were awarded, several great items were auctioned such as two Vegas vacations a riffle and many other items. The action and awards were extra special this year as we had our first Hole-In-One in 15. The honor went to Randy a veteran player of all 11 golf scrambles was awarded a $500 pro shop gift card and given the right to brag about his first Hole-In-One.

Interlink would like to thank Rest Haven and Sams Club for being our corporate Sponsors, Oxmoor Ford for sponsoring the hole 18 “hole-in-one prize,” a new 2013 Ford Ecape. Unfortunately for the golfers, no one was able to accomplish this feat. Other door prize donors and hole sponsors included the following: Dignity Memorial, Mode Transportation, Amvets Post 61, Amvets Post 61 Womens Auxillary, L & J Constructors, Owens Funeral Home, Elks Lodge #8, Joe Myers, Oxmoor Ford, Teamsters 89, Representative Larry Clark, Sysco Foods, VWF of Kentucky, Midland Trail Golf Course, Oldham Country Golf Course, Kay’s Jewelers, Play it Again Sports on Outer Loop, Chick-fil-A.

Interlink would especially like to thank Bettye Harmon and Vicki Futrell for partnering every year to sponsor Interlink’s own golf team as well as donating a hole sponsorship.

The Golf Scramble this year was an excellent beginning to the upcoming Christmas “Adopt-a-Vet” fundraising program for the veterans.