Between the ice out and some late April showers, spring has officially sprung. It is also officially golf season, and to celebrate there are two charitable golf opens slated for this month.

First, the Lakeside Wine & Spirits Charity 10th Annual Golf Open will tee off on Monday, May 20th. Registration will begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. at Burl Oaks Golf Club at 5400 N. Arm Drive in Minnetrista. It costs $160 per golfer, or $40 for dinner only. To sign up or become a sponsor RSVP by May 7th by stopping by Lakeside Wine and Spirits at 1916 Wayzata Blvd W in Long Lake, calling them at 952-404-2500, or emailing

Included in the price is 18 holes with cart at Burl Oaks Golf Club, lunch, dinner, drinks on the course, and more. The event includes free drink holes, as well as prizes for longest drive, closest to the pin, and longest putt. For other prizes there will be an opportunity to win a big screen tv, as well as other prize drawings, and a silent auction.

“It’s a good time, since we have 50-70 percent of people coming back or trying to come back it’s usually a good sign that people enjoy themselves,” says Lakeside Wine & Spirits General Manager Bryan Keeler. “And the money is going to charities where we actually know where the money is going.”

The event benefits Locks of Love, breast cancer research, ALS research, and 8 to a Lamp. The latter, 8 to a Lamp, is a charity started up by Keeler in 2009 to build schools abroad, specifically in Tanzania. This year’s money will go towards adding a $5,000 kitchen to the kindergarten that Keeler built on his last visit, or towards adding a technical school to the area.

Keeler was inspired to start his charity while teaching in Tanzania. While there he was reading a book, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. “While I was over there I was reading it, in the book when they ask Greg Mortenson to build a school I was reading that part when they asked me to build a school in Tanzania so it was one of those weird coincidences and I came back to the states and I said, well, I’ll give it a shot,” says Keeler. Soon after, 8 to a Lamp was born.

For this month’s second charitable golf open, on May 31st will be the 28th annual Crime Prevention Fund Golf Classic. The event will take place at Deer Run Golf Course. Registration and driving range open will be at 11 a.m. followed by a noon lunch and a 1 p.m. shotgun start. At 5:30 p.m. there will be a steak dinner, followed by awards at 6:30 p.m. To sign up visit

The event is described as a fundraiser for youth, safety and scholarships where donations stay local. All money raised goes towards the Crime Prevention Fund, which supports the DARE program, the Drug Take Back bank that is sponsored by both the Minnetrista and Orono police departments, elder safety programs, scholarships for Westonka High School and Orono High School graduating seniors, citizens police academies, National Night Out, and other crime prevention events and safety initiatives.

“We’re all about crime prevention and safety and we like the idea of trying to educate our youth so they grow up knowing some of the things that they should be aware of,” says Secretary and Treasurer for the Crime Prevention Fund Craig Anderson.

The event will also feature a silent auction and raffle to help raise even more money to support community scholarships and safety programs.

“It’s a great opportunity to give back and have fun at the same time,” says Anderson. “Every dollar that they are able to donate, no matter how small or large goes right back into that message of crime free, safe communities and doing the best we can to make sure that everybody can be hopefully a little better informed and prepared.”

Load comments