Reporting Esme Murphy
NEW PRAGUE, Minn. (WCCO) — Our record breaking warm weather inspired golfers to do some good out on the course Tuesday.
A tournament in New Prague was put together in just 48 hours and is believed to be the only charity golf tournament held in this state in the month of January.
Roughly 150 golfers came out to show their support and raise money for Jack Jablonski.
The high school sophomore at Benilde-St. Margaret was paralyzed after being checked from behind during a hockey game.
There are many fundraisers being planned for Jablonski, including an upcoming pond hockey tournament. Hockey events you might expect, but golf fanatics say the warm weather was just too good an opportunity to pass up to get golfers to contribute.
Kevin Unterreiner of twincitiesgolf.com is also a hockey dad whose 10-year-old daughter plays for Eden Prairie’s Youth Hockey Association.
He says he could not stop thinking about young Jablonski. This weekend at his daughter’s game, he had an idea.
“I looked at my phone and saw the forecast for close to 50 on Tuesday, called up my staff and said let’s do a golf tournament,” he said.
Of the 150 golfers who came out to play, many were like Chris Paradise, who played college and professional minor league hockey, didn’t know the teen personally but just want to help.
“The more money and support that can be raised for Jack and his family is just going to help him make things a little easier,” he said. “It’s a long road and it’s going to be tough and any support that can be given is going to help him.”
The tournament, which also featured a silent auction, is expected to raise close to $2,000 for the fund that is helping Jablonski.
The fairways were a little frozen and getting a tee in might require an extra push, but a chance to play golf in January for such a good cause was irresistible.
“It’s a great time to be outside in January, golf is a perfect excuse,” said golfer James Wolken.
There was an announcement on Jablonski’s website that there will be another fundraising golf tournament. The next one will be at the Monticello Country Club on a date more associated with golf — June 16.