The tournament idea began when our PA Dutch Chapter of LPA was exploring ways to raise funds to help families affected by Dwarfism. At a chapter meeting in Longs Park in Lancaster the membership decided to try and organize a benefit golf tournament. We had only two people in the chapter that played golf. I remember the chapter had about $200.00 at the time. At our chapter’s Christmas Party in 1994 our chapter president and I agreed to look into organizing and finding a location for the Golf Tournament.
Our search took us to Lebanon Valley Golf Course, located in Myerstown, PA. We met with the owner and presented our plan. We wanted to hold an event that would be fun for all and would create funds to support our chapter’s goal to help families with Dwarfism. Thankfully Mr. Dick Reigel gave us a chance to create and grow the tournament into what it is today. We are very thankful for the opportunity the management and staff at Lebanon Valley Golf Club has provided for our annual golf event over the years.
In 1995 we started out with our 10 chapter members helping to make the day fun for our golfers, 18 hole sponsors, over 100 donated items, 84 golfers, and tee times from 9:30am to 11:30am. In the old cart garage near hole #12 we had our event buffet dinner provided by Fancy Pantry in Kutztown, tournament prizes, and a Thank You Door Prize (donated by our many supporters for every participant in our event so they had something to take home as a thank you for participating in our event). We continued that tradition for our golfers for awhile and as the number of golfers increased we moved to raffle drawings. A new clubhouse, banquet hall, and number of golfers enabled us to move to a single shotgun start at 7AM with dinner and prizes immediately following the shotgun.
We have great golfers and sponsors as they make our job easier by coming back each and every year. We increased golfers every year and finally grew into 2 shotgun starts at 7AM and 1PM with a total of 240 golfers. Our golfers have enabled our chapter to come from $200.00 in 1995 and having monthly meetings and events to bring the little people families together for socialization so that they know that they are not alone in the world.
Golf funds enable the chapter to provide financial assistance for hardships and medical expenses, educational scholarships, regional conferences to bring little people together to make friends and learn about each others’ life experiences, funds social activities, travel expenses to national and regional conferences and supports the national LPA (Little People of America).
The success of our event is attributed to our chapter members organizing and providing a Fun day of golf and socialization for our golfers and sponsors who are committed to supporting our chapters dreams of improving the life experiences of the Little People in our world.
If you have any questions about the tournament please contact us.
-Ken Ritter (Tournament Organizer)