139th News

Community and Airmen come together to golf for a cause

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Patrick Evenson
  • 139th Airlift Wing

Dozens of golf carts bob and weave across the rolling fairways of the 200-acre expanse of Fairview Golf Course in the heart of St. Joseph, Missouri.

It’s not a typical day for the members of the 139th Airlift Wing, from the Missouri Air National Guard, to see their fellow Airmen out of uniform, but June 11th was a special day. Donned with shorts, t-shirts and ball caps, it is the day of the 20th Annual Chiefs Association Golf Tournament.

The 139th Chief’s Association and Airmen and Family Readiness Program team up every year for this fundraising event. Funds raised help Airmen and families throughout the year with scholarships and donations, as well as supporting local entities like the American Red Cross, Specialty Industries and others.

Chief Master Sgt. Brian Shepherd, superintendent of 139th Logistics Readiness Squadron, Material Management, says the event always gets a huge response every year.

“The golf tournament sold out in less than 15 minutes and we have 27 teams,” Shepherd said of the over hundred Airmen, friends and family who participated in the event. “We could easily have another tournament in the fall with that kind of support.”

Events like this allow co-workers to interact with each other in a very informal and fun way. No matter what the skill level of the golfer, after 18 holes of competition, laughs, birdies and bogeys, relationships are built.

“Not only is it great networking on the professional side of things,”
Chief Master Sgt. Susan McGarry, superintendent of 139th Medical Group said, “but there are friendships that are built that last a lifetime.”

“It’s much like a family vacation; you anticipate it, you give it priority on your calendar and you remember it,” McGarry said.

Much of the money raised comes from community sponsors. Local organizations and businesses can sponsor a hole with either a sign for
$100 or entire banner for $500.

Between the sponsorships, raffle and silent auctions that happened after the tournament, over $16,000 was raised.

“As we’re golfing, we see all those signs for the sponsors and it makes us more cognizant of the support we have from the community,”
McGarry says.

There were a number of state officials who came to support to event. State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer for the 34th Senatorial District; William Faulkner, former mayor of St. Joseph and current member of the Missouri House of Representatives from the 10th District; and Harry Roberts, former Buchanan County Presiding Commissioner and current deputy chief of staff of Missouri Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft’s office.

“That’s what is great about the golf tournament, the local community supports us so well.” Shepherd said.