Golfers in golf carts

Giving Back: The Golf Classic and The Watertown Endowment

A bright, warm morning greeted Maranatha staff members, alumni, Watertown community members, and other golf enthusiasts as they gathered for the 21st Annual Golf Classic. There was not a cloud in the sky as the golfers shifted restlessly in their golf carts awaiting the 9 am start time. After an opening prayer by Dr. Marriott, President of Maranatha Baptist University, the golf cart engines revved, zipped out of their line-up one by one, and sped away to their starting hole.

The golfers’ excitement was palpable as they spread out over the 18 holes at the Watertown Country Club. Many looked forward to a leisurely day with old and new friends. Others enjoyed the company of their team, but mainly looked forward to the food that would be served throughout the day.

The Watertown Endowment

While some may view the Classic as an enjoyable day of golf, food, and friends, it serves a larger purpose benefitting Maranatha and the Watertown community. The Golf Classic supports the Watertown Endowment and has raised more than $400,000 since its inception in 2000.

Steve Board, Director of Development at Maranatha, shared that while the Watertown Endowment defers some of the cost of the Maranatha faculty and staff benefits, the money is essentially given right back to the community. “We love the community supporting [the Watertown Endowment] because, in effect, about 85% of our faculty own homes in the community [and] spend money in the community. So, it’s a benefit back economically into the city and the two counties.”

Even though the Golf Classic is a fundraiser for the Watertown Endowment, the opportunity for Maranatha faculty and staff to rub shoulders with Watertown community members (and vice versa) for a day is the greatest benefit. “Obviously, we want to raise money,” Board says. “But we also want to have an influence on the community and have the fellowship with the community; get them to know who we are so we can have other opportunities with them.”

Local businesses support Maranatha by sponsoring the Golf Classic, and as a result, Maranatha students and employees are able to support local businesses. One such business is Family Dental Practice.

A Place for the Whole Family

Dr. Matthew Davis, Executive Vice President at Maranatha, started going to Family Dental when he saw how well they took care of his kids. “We had been going somewhere else and then I heard really good things about Dr. Will. We had small kids and they took such good care of the kids, that we said, ‘You know what? Next time I need to get in, let’s go over there too,’” Davis continued. “They’re always so personable.”

Not only does Family Dental build relationships with their patients in the office, but they also build relationships outside the office.

A Way to Give Back

Dr. William Buchholtz of Family Dental Practice has attended the Maranatha Golf Classic for about four years. His business has been sponsoring a hole on the course or a prize basket for about nine years. Dr. Will, as he is affectionately known by his patients, sees the Golf Classic as a way to build relationships with those in his community.

“A lot of patients currently go to Maranatha or work for Maranatha,” Buchholtz stated. “I think it’s more [about] supporting Maranatha. It’s not like we’re trying to necessarily profit; we’re trying to give back to Maranatha.”

If one were to ascribe a theme to the Golf Classic, it would be “Giving Back.” Through the Watertown Endowment, Maranatha seeks to give back to local businesses and many businesses support the Golf Classic to give back to Maranatha.

Final Results

The competition for the day wasn’t only a game of golf. Throughout the course, players could participate in smaller contests like the Longest Drive and the Longest Putt.

At the end of the day, with a winning score of 50, the Berlin and Arbogast father-son foursome (Tim and Andrew Berlin, Randy and Tyler Arbogast) came in first place. They were closely followed by Cary and David Flinck, Ron Gotzman, and Dale Dow with a score of 52. Third place went to Eric Stanley, Jim Harrison, Tim Shelp, and David Marriott with a score of 54.

The winners of the smaller contests were:

  • Andrew Gunst – Longest Putt
  • Steve Hollenbeck, Victor Benson, Erick Schoenberger, Tim Shelp – Closest to Pin on holes 6, 11, 16, & 18
  • Tom Ingleby – Longest drive for men over 50
  • Tanner Moses – Longest drive for men under 50
  • Julie Egnarski – Longest drive for women
  • Taylor Pill – Chipping Contest
  • Jon Knoedler – Putting Contest

Maranatha is thankful for the following sponsors and donors who made the 21st Annual Golf Classic possible: