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Before the Hesston College campus welcomed guests for Homecoming 2013, 68 golfers hit the links at the Hesston Golf Park for more than a friendly competition. Alumni and friends of the college as well as local business representatives and charitable contributors golfed to support Hesston College student scholarships.

The first Hesston College Student Scholarship Golf Benefit, sponsored by the college’s neighbor and loyal supporter, Excel Industries, Inc., with help from Hesston Golf Park manager Floyd Sowers ’71, was Sept. 26 and the kickoff event for Homecoming 2013. Proceeds from the event benefitted the Jim and Belle Boyts Scholarship Fund, given in honor of long-time college supporters Jim Ac52 and Belle (Stoltzfus) Ac52 Boyts.

The average Hesston College student receives more than $14,000 per year in scholarships and grants. This includes institutional scholarships and grants that come from the Hesston College Annual Fund and endowed scholarships. The financial aid is raised in a variety of ways – about 80 percent of the Annual Fund is given by Partners who commit to give $500 or more annually to the college. The annual Phonathon raises another portion, and 159 endowed scholarships – established with directed honorary or memorial funds – are awarded to students who have particular interests, qualifications or financial need.

Golf benefits have been part of the college’s fundraising efforts for 26 years. Three annual golf benefits provide an opportunity to golf for student scholarships. The National Golf Benefit is every spring in the Phoenix area and draws participants from across the country; the Nebraska Golf Benefit is held in June in Milford, Neb.; and the new Hesston College Student Scholarship Golf Benefit replaced the Kansas Golf Benefit in 2013 – an event organized by Orvin Ac55 and Peggy (Brunk) ’58 Miller for 25 years.

“Golf benefits are a fun way for Hesston College supporters to connect with one another while helping provide important financial aid options for students,” said Yvonne (Yoder) ’71 Sieber, vice president of Advancement.

Faithful supporters, like Excel Industries, sponsor and organize the tournaments on behalf of the college so all of the funds raised can be reserved specifically for financial aid. In 2012-13, the college’s three golf benefits raised more than $31,000 for student scholarships.

Golfers receive more than recognition for their charitable donation. They are also eligible to win exciting prizes, like the Big Dog lawn mower manufactured and donated by Excel for the September event.

“We are so grateful for alumni, donors and sponsors who recognize the need that exists for educating future leaders and are willing to support the college while participating in a hobby they enjoy,” Sieber said.

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