By P.J. GLISSON
“This is our first annual snow golf,” said event organizer Luan Jacobson, who said the agency was partnering for the day with the Gogebic Range Health Foundation. “We never have done it before.”
She said the new event replaced the former frozen rundra, which until last year had been held in conjunction with Ironwood‘s Jack Frost Festival.
“People raced five miles in the snow,” Jacobson said of the rundra, and they didn’t let double-digit wind chills stop them. Even so, she added that the unpredictability of weather was the primary reason for exchanging the rundra for snow golf.
Saturday’s fundraiser also included options in the hall of Wakefield‘s VFW Post 9084. “The VFW has been wonderful,” said Jacobson as Post Commander Jack Lillar sat nearby eating his lunch.
“They donated the hall for us,” said Jacobson. “They cooked for us.”
Jacobson said the day started with a pancake breakfast and progressed to a lunch with chili and hot dogs. She said Honor Society students from Wakefield and Bessemer schools helped to serve meals, pour coffee and clean up.
Anyone inside could view snow golf players through the back windows of the VFW. “It’s sort of like playing miniature golf,” said Jacobson. “There’re five holes to go around the course.”
Jacobson’s husband, Ron Jacobson, directed the golf players on what everyone agreed was a pleasant winter day. “I’m just volunteering,” he said. “I helped to set up the course.”
He said sponsors were associated with each flag, and players who got their ball closest to each flag won the associated prize.
In addition, said Luan Jacobson, who is GOCAA’s community development coordinator, “We have all kinds of raffle prizes.”
The VFW hall featured long tables filled with items in relation to a raffle or a silent auction. There was also a signed Green Bay football for one lucky card winner to take home.
“We’ve had pretty good community support,” said Jacobson and added, in relation to state and national government funds, “The money raised is for what grants don’t cover.”
She said those items include appliances, furnaces, winter coats, etc. “We’ve helped pay for prescriptions,” she said. “We’ve paid for gas to help someone get to a medical appointment. We’ve even helped with funerals.”
The Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency, which is based in Bessemer, describes itself as a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation led by a board of 12 local residents who represent public, private and consumer entities.
GOCAA offers a variety of community services in relation to nutrition, weatherization, energy, housing, business support, and Head Start.
It also provides support for senior citizens in relation to in-home help such as personal care, housekeeping, snow shoveling, yard work and small repairs.
One of its most popular features is the Mill Street Garden Dining Room at 100 S. Mill St., behind the Bessemer Commons. It offers seniors a low-cost lunch and deli on weekdays.