by nathan oster
The culminating moment of another successful “Balls Away” fundraiser for Midway Golf Club came Saturday afternoon when 334 golf balls were dropped on a target located on the course’s driving range from a helicopter piloted by Bob Hawkins.
Lonnie Koch, a member of the club, did the honors, releasing the balls from 60 feet off the ground. The one that landed closest to the pin was one purchased by Ron Fiene, owner of Ron’s Food Farm. It came to a rest just 6 inches from the hole.
“It seemed fitting that Ron would hold the winning ticket as much as he does for our community,” said Eddie Johnson, a member of the golf club. “Ron has always been one that is willing to support many different things in our community financially. He also donated some of the winnings back to the golf course.”
The golf ball drop was a fundraiser to help offset some of the costs of operating the golf course. The local golfers, tournaments and other fundraisers keep the course operating, according to Johnson.
The Midway Open, one of three “majors” on the club schedule, is next on the horizon Aug. 9-10. It’ll be a three-man, two-man best ball, as in the past, but organizers are contemplating some slight tweaks to other aspects of this year’s format, including changing the tee-box locations for the older golfers. “We encourage all golfers with a handicap card to get together a team and be a part of this competitive event,” said Johnson.
“The ball drop was exciting to watch. Bob did an outstanding job of keeping the helicopter perfectly still at a hover as Lonnie dropped the balls. A good crowd of onlookers and hopeful winners were at the course to watch the event. It is always neat to watch a good pilot work and we appreciate the job Bob did. We also congratulate Ron on his ‘lucky’ ball.”