The annual Laurie Bell Memorial Jet Open Charity Golf Tournament is seeing a big change this year. Previously held in recent years at Rolling Hills Country Club, the tournament will now be held at Crestview Country Club in east Wichita.
Maureen Rohleder, associate athletic director, said, "We were pursued by Crestview Country Club to look at their venue."
Crestview has two golf courses, a factor that could help cut tournament time in half. One of the courses is a premier course used for Air Capital web.com professional tournaments.
Rohleder said, "We had great success at Rolling Hills for many years but were willing to make a change to see if we could better the revenue, as all money goes toward the athletic endowment for scholarships and for major upgrades and facility needs for our athletes."
The Jet Open tournament is one of the Newman University Athletic Department's largest fundraisers. Last year's event raised more than $90,000.
Changing locations to the Crestview Country Club is expected to increase revenue in many ways. Usage of Newman's food services, Great Western Dining, will cut costs and the location change to the east side of Wichita will reach a whole new audience of sponsors and participants.
Planning for the tournament generally starts in February but Crestview contacted the planning committee in the fall of last year which jumpstarted planning this year.
"Many hours go into members seeking out new sponsors, calling on businesses and requesting donated auction items," said Rohleder. The planning committee meets once a month up until July and then they meet more often in preparation for the upcoming event.
"Now that the venue is decided, we work on sponsorships and auction items mainly. During meetings, we decide on what gift we will purchase for the golfers, and what format changes or special games we may want to implement at the tournament," said Rohleder.
The kickoff party and auction will be held Sunday, Aug. 5, at the Crestview Country Club. The tournament will be held the following day. For more information, contact Rohleder at (316) 942-4291, ext. 2118 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.