The Rotary Loves Kids Golf Tournament has been incredibly successful throughout its now 20 year existence, raising a net sum of over $1,700,000. As those who have chaired the event will tell you, the task to keeping this event in the forefront is daunting and requires commitment and hard work.  But the reward is exhilarating, knowing we have made a difference. (pictured L to R Rotary Club of Belleville President Darrell Smith, RLK Co-Chair David Allen, RLK Co-Chair Cassandra Bonn, recipients Bob Clute and Wolf Tausendfreund, District Governor Iosif Ciosa).
In the Rotary year 1999/2000, the Rotary Club of Belleville faced a difficult financial picture, when the Club concluded that our annual commitments exceeded our fundraising efforts.
Who would or could have imagined a simple golf trip to Scotland would change all that. Upon returning from a Scotland Golf together, Rotarian Wolf Tausendfreund suggested a golf tournament to fellow Rotarian Bob Clute and asked Bob to chair the event. In the words of Past President Wolf Tausendfreund, “We put our heads together to come up with a fundraising event. It was very important for us to include children.” It was agreed from the start that 10% of net revenue would go to the Hastings County Children’s Foundation for Kids in Care and for educational bursaries. The first event took place in July 2003 on four different golf courses; Barcoven, Bay of Quinte, Trillium Wood and Bayview Golf Course. At the Bayview Golf course the “kids” experienced what was likely their first ever game of golf!  
 
Rotarians who have filled the role as Chair of the event include Bob Clute, Wolf Tausenfreund, John Smale, Bernie Ouellet, Richard Cournyea, Greg Knudsen, Kelly McKinney, Sam Brady, Ken Wheeler, Eric Thompson, Randy Coker, Dave Allen for 3 years and this year co-chaired by Dave Allen and friend Cassandra Bonn.   We are a fortunate Rotary Club with a dynamic and dedicated RLK Committee, both in years past and today. This event is critical for all the worthy causes that the Rotary Club of Belleville supports. The first year, $45,000 was raised; in 2014  $115,000 was raised, the highest fundraising amount in one year.
 
Rotary Loves Kids is a milestone event in the community and accolades go to all past Chairs and its dedicated committee members. The financial success of the tournament is realized in large part through corporate sponsorships. This is an impressive list that includes community businesses, some of whom are owned and/or managed by Rotarians, and who have provided silver sponsorships of $2,000 annually for many years. Some have been with us from the beginning.
 
Every year the Parrott Foundation has contributed $15,000 as the Platinum Sponsor. All of the tournament sponsors believe in what we are doing and it has become a summer tradition to support the Rotary Club of Belleville through the tournament.
 
Again, who could have imagined that a simple Golf Trip to Scotland would change the course of history and have the financial impact it has had for the Rotary Club of Belleville?
We owe all of those volunteers, past and present for making it the success it has become, but if not for the big idea of Rotarians Wolf Tausendfreund and Bob Clute where would we be. It is our pleasure, on behalf of President Darrell Smith and the Rotary Club of Belleville to present Paul Harris Fellow Recognition to the Rotary Loves Kids Founders Wolf Tausendfreund and Bob Clute.
Sponsors