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Great opportunity to help raise funds in Republic Saturday

If you’re looking for something fun to do that will also raise funds for good causes, check out the sixth annual Memorial Tennis Ball Golf Tournament or TBGolf 2020 in Republic Saturday.

At a new location — the Northern Lights Campground in Republic — the event has a renewed message about community and kindness, co-organizer Chelsea Anderson told Journal Staff Writer Lisa Bowers for a Tuesday story.

Participating is simple. Arrive by noon with a tennis ball in hand and you’ll soon be on the approximately half-mile nine-hole course. Organizers will provide the rest, Anderson said, including the golf clubs.

The entrance fee for the event is $20.

“Our prizes are $75, $50 and $25 per category for men and women,” Anderson said. “But nobody is out here to win some big championship check. It’s the event. It’s the cause. Everybody is all for it.”

Participants can make a day of it, playing on the course from noon until dark and then heading over to the Pine Grove in downtown Republic where the group holds raffles.

Anderson said organizers are excited about this year’s new location, and are grateful to Republic Township for allowing use of the campground near Munson Park on Kloman Avenue.

“We are having it there this year because of the God-awful ice conditions. We just kind of lucked out that the township was completely supportive of the event and they okayed having the it on their property,” Anderson said in the story.

Started as an effort to raise money for the fireworks that coincide with Republic’s annual Fishing Derby in July, the tournament soon incorporated the idea that residents in small towns take care of one another.

In 2014, the second year of the tournament, the small band of organizers decided to help friend and Republic resident Andy Rosslund who battled amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. They gave Rosslund a portion of the proceeds to use toward medical bills.

After he passed away later that year, the group approached Rosslund’s wife and asked if they could hold the tournament as a memorial in his honor.

“All of that went great and we have always done medical donations where half the money raised goes to somebody in need in the community for medical expenses,” Anderson said.

But, this year, out of respect for the wishes of the Rosslund family, the group is switching gears the proceeds from the event will still benefit three causes: the fireworks; a local family dealing with a medical issue; and Gifts from Kev, a toy drive in honor of 6-month old Kevin Cote who passed away unexpectedly in 2015.

The group found another reason to shift focus, after they lost a member to suicide in 2019, Anderson said. She said this year’s event will be held in honor of that founding member, and as a reminder to people that you are never alone and “that people need you and love you.”

“We want to make this a really bright day in February,” Anderson said. “You know, you don’t see a lot of sad people in the summer on an 80-degree day. Especially in the wintertime, who doesn’t need a reminder? Winter is hard, snow is hard, life is hard. And it’s especially hard for us in the winter. We forget all the good. That’s what we want to focus on.”

For more information about the tournament, visit the TB Golf 2020 event page on Facebook. Good luck to all who participate in this event which combines fun and fundraising, Yooper style.