Last week, Brett and I were in Iowa working on the Steve Yates Memorial Golf Tournament to raise money for Melanoma research and awareness of this horrible disease. It was our way to give back and attempt to make something positive out of such a negative experience of losing my father-in-law last year.
The event was held last Saturday, April 28th in Waterloo, IA. And other than the weather – it was 40 degrees and raining – the day was a total success! It took place at the local golf course where Steve taught his sons to play golf and where we would often golf at on our multiple visits. It was the perfect setting for our fundraiser. A great place for many of Steve’s co-workers, friends, and family members to gather to remember the remarkable man he was on the anniversary of his death.
We were humbled and amazed by the level of support we have received throughout the process. The planning committee has been absolutely wonderful; meeting on a monthly basis, supporting my mother-in-law, asking for prize donations and sponsorships, and working on the many preparations necessary.
Speaking of sponsors, they have also been wonderful. When we first started to plan the event, we thought we were aiming a bit too high with our platinum sponsor levels. But, it turns out we have had 8 platinum sponsors come on board! We have also had 5 gold sponsors, and 29 silver sponsors.
However, I think the most surprising was the news we received the week before the event. We had reached the maximum number of golfers the course could hold. We had actually sold out our shot-gun start golf event at the end of April! Thirty-six teams of four sign up to play. It’s given us so much encouragement to do it again next year!
We cannot thank everyone enough for all of their help and support! In the end we raised over $15,000 for melanoma research! The money goes directly to the University of Iowa Foundation to be used in research to fight melanoma in Iowa.
Our family is continuously encouraged by Steve’s doctor, Dr. Mohammed Milhem, the head of the melanoma department at the university. We met with him earlier in the week to talk about the advances in research to cure melanoma and the Midwest Melanoma Partnership, which is a group Dr. Milhem was central to forming. This group will help doctors work together and communicate about their research. This is critical to speeding up research and the clinical trial process to help patients have access to information and treatments faster.
The goal is to save lives and help families not have to go through what we did. We are very proud to be part of moving toward this goal and look forward to another great event next year.
For more photos and information about the event, I invite you to check out the website we created at http://www.steveyatesmelanomaawareness.org.