Niles golfers selling tickets to Buick Open

Published 3:40 am Thursday, March 30, 2006

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - When athletic teams hold fundraisers to raise money for their programs, it usually consists of buying food or fun gadgets out of magazines, holding a car wash or the ever-so famous Port-A-Pit chicken dinners. But the Niles Golf team had a different idea in mind.
Viking head coach Greg Gunder attends many coaches clinics every year. At these clinics, coaches often share ideas about how they raise money for their programs.
So, for the past four years, the Niles High School golf team has been selling tickets to the Buick Open.
The team receives 100 tickets, in which they can sell to relatives, friends or anyone interested at a very reasonable price of $20. The program then gets to keep $10 for every ticket they sell and the other $10 goes back to the Buick Open.
The money the team receives then goes to various items such as golf balls and other equipment. This year, the team is purchasing new wind jackets and gold bags, with the help of the Booster Club and the Athletic Department. Another thing the money goes toward is meals on the road or anything else the team is in need of.
Gunder also said that the fundraiser money will help pay for some of the team's trip to Traverse City this year. The team will participate in a two-day tournament, which will involve an overnight stay, something Gunder has not done in the 23 years he has been coaching.
The Junior Varsity team will also be able to attend an overnight tournament, something most JV teams never do.
With the success of selling all 100 tickets for the past few years, Gunder and his team were able to get 200 this year, giving more people a chance to see the professionals in action.
One thing that concerned Gunder when he first started this was the fact that the drive to Detroit is fairly long. However, most people do not seem to mind and make a mini vacation out of the event.
The golf team still has about 75 tickets left for this year's event, which takes place July 31-Aug. 6, 2006 at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc.
If you are interested in purchasing tickets and would like to get one or more, contact a member of the men's golf team, head coach Greg Gunder at 687-8464.
The Niles High School Athletic Office will have them available until Friday and then again following Niles' spring break vacation.