An Investment in the Community | 2021 Golf Classic

The day promised to be hot and humid as the golfers began to arrive at 7 a.m. After a greeting and opening prayer by Dr. Matt Davis, CEO of Maranatha, the golfers maneuvered their carts onto the path and wove through the course to their starting holes. 

The Golf Classic is a fundraiser for the Watertown Endowment and is sponsored by many local Watertown businesses. Many businesses not only financially fund the classic or donate a prize, but they also send one or two teams of four. These local businesses enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community, to Maranatha, to connect with other Watertown businesses, and to spend the day on a beautiful course with each other.

The Value of Sponsoring the Golf Classic

Why would someone want to sponsor the Golf Classic? What is the value, or the benefit, of contributing to Maranatha’s fundraiser?

Some find the Golf Classic to be valuable in nurturing business relationships. Erick Schoenberger, Treasury Management Officer at Associated Bank, has been coming to the Golf Classic for only a few years while Associated Bank has been sponsoring the event for 15 years. Schoenberger said, “It’s a great opportunity to fund the University’s mission. In addition, it’s an excellent chance for us to get our clients out here. It’s a nice combination to support the University, but also entertain our clients.”

Not everyone focuses on building relationships with clients; some use the day to foster inter-company relationships and camaraderie. Convenience Store Technologies has been one of the first companies to sign-up as a sponsor and register four to eight employees to play for the past six years. “The fundraiser is my company’s most favorite outing of the year,” Mark Baker, owner of Convenience Store Technologies explains. “We talk about it all year. We bring a couple of groups and compete against each other.”

Building relationships is a large part of the purpose of the Golf Classic. The other defining value of the Golf Classic that many companies see is the opportunity to give back to Maranatha and the community. 

Holz Motors, a leading company in Watertown, has sponsored the Hole-in-One competition at the Golf Classic for six years. Randy Miller, a salesman at Holz, shared, “As a dealership, we always want to give back to the community. We like to give back and help the community thrive.”

Brad Stas, Vice President of United Electric Inc., has attended the Golf Classic for four years, and United Electric has sponsored the fundraiser for three. Stas stated, “I’ve been doing work with Maranatha for 25 years. The value is giving back. I’m a big proponent of local, so I like to be a local sponsor.”

Stas continued, “We’ve had Maranatha grads apply with us; I’ve had students that have apprenticed with us. I’m all about working with local communities as a business owner.”

“I’m supporting Christian activity,” Mark Erdmann, President of mkCellular, said. mkCellular has sponsored the Golf Classic for four years. Erdmann continued, “There’s no downside to being nice to other people.”

The Perks of Sponsoring the Golf Classic

Businesses that sponsor the Golf Classic enjoy several perks such as being featured in promotional material for the day, having an advertisement on the course, and a few other small perks. But the significant perk is an enjoyable day of golf, food, and fellowship. 

“[It’s] amazing food and a good time playing bad golf,” Baker stated.

Stas added, “I’ve been doing outings for 30 to 40 years and I just love this one because you’ve got food holes on three different spots on the course.”

“The early start time, the food and beverage, and the camaraderie go a long way. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the food. The pork sandwich is the iconic food item that people talk about,” Schoenberger said. Another perk for Schoenberger is getting to see old friends from Watertown. 

“I’m invested in and supportive of education,” Schoenberger added. “I love [Maranatha’s] mission statement. I love the thought of educating young people. The thought of being able to help with that is outstanding.”

Erdmann said, “There’s lots of positive networking. The more I can support Maranatha, if it ends up impacting our business, that’s great. But the motivation is glorifying God.”

Tanner Moses, a Maranatha alumnus and Golf Classic attendee, shared, “It’s a good way to see old friends and teachers and connect in that way.”

Looking To The Future

The Maranatha Golf Classic is the perfect opportunity for your business to build community relationships and enjoy a day of good food and golf. Listen to what these local sponsors said in response to asking if they would encourage someone to come or sponsor:

“Why would you not? We’ve increased our amount of people [we bring] almost every year.” – Mark Baker

“Why not? Get a day off of work, enjoy a beautiful course, and support a good cause.” – Tanner Moses 

“Please come! My general manager has the holes down pat where the food stations are – you won’t go home hungry!” – Randy Miller

“I don’t know why you’d be on the fence [about sponsoring]. It’s early enough in the season and it’s a local college. It’s easy for me to sell it to people. I always bring new people as part of my foursome so they can get the feel for it. I’ve made a lot of friendships through this over the years.” – Brad Stas

“Get off the fence! It’s a great day and a fun event.”  – Erick Schoenberger 

“Are you worried about ROI? Don’t worry about that. There’s no downside to sponsoring this. If you’re all about community engagement, community involvement, and proper stewardship, Maranatha should be on the top of your list to support. They’re one of the larger employers in the community. Why wouldn’t you want to have a positive relationship with them? Why would you not want to support a positive organization that positively impacts the local community?” – Mark Erdmann

Final Results

With a score of 47, Dave Marriott, Dave Anderson, Josh Spiegelhoff, and Taylor Pill took first place. 

Second place saw Tim Berlin, Stephen Berlin, Randy Arbogast, and Tyler Arbogast with a score of 50. 

Third place was a score of 54 played by Mitchell Allen, James Martin, Tim Chase, and Jack Nortman. 

Winners of the individual competitions were: 

  • Rob Adams – Longest Putt
  • Kendall Suhr, Matt Wetzel, Bryan Board – Closest to the Pin on holes 6, 11, and 18
  • Brian Messer – Longest Drive, Men Over 50
  • Tanner Moses – Longest Drive, Men Under 50
  • Kendall Suhr – Women’s Longest Drive 
  • Drew Delozier – Longest Putt
  • Bill Mulder – Chipping contest
  • Charles Ellis – Putting contest

For more information about sponsoring or playing in the 2022 Golf Classic, scheduled for June 10 at the Watertown Country Club, email the Development Office or call 920.206.2325.

Maranatha is thankful for the following sponsors and donors who made the 22nd Annual Golf Classic possible: