ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL -- Incredible Technologies' Golden Tee video golf game has built a loyal following of devoted players during its long evolution and expansion into 100,000 bars and pubs. This player community created its own charitable organization, Video Golfers for Underdogs (VGforU), six years ago.
In August, the Underdogs will stage tournaments in Denver and the greater Chicagoland area to assist the families of active-duty members of the armed forces. The Denver face-off is set for Table Steaks Sports Bar from Aug. 13 to 15; the Chicago-area joust will be held at Splinter's Sports Bar in Palatine, IL. The events also mark Incredible Technologies' 25th anniversary.
Palatine is the home of the organization that will benefit from this year's competition, Salute Inc. Founded seven years ago by Will and Mary Beth Beiersdorf, Salute is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing financial support to military men and women through a variety of fundraising activities.
In the runup to the tournament, players will create personal fundraising Web pages that friends, family, co-workers and others can visit to pledge donations. Previous tournaments in 2004 and 2008 raised more than $80,000. The event's organizers recognize that it will be a challenge to reach their 2010 goal of $100,000, but Casey Brock, president of VGforU, expects his fellow players to be up to the task.
"We've learned a great deal from our past two charity events," Brock said. "This year, we plan to use that knowledge and experience in a variety of ways. We'll have fundraising goals for each contestant, a silent auction, raffles, a 'real golf' tournament, and several other ways for members of the Golden Tee community to participate." Every tournament participant feels strongly about this cause, he emphasized.
Salute cofounder Will Beiersdorf, a naval reservist whose recall to active duty imposed profound hardship on his family, hailed the enthusiastic support of the Golden Tee players. "The lifeblood and strength of our organization is grounded in everyday folks giving back in some form or fashion to say 'thank you' to these heroes for their service and sacrifice," he explained. "We 'salute' the Golden Tee family of players, and Incredible Technologies during its 25th anniversary, for stepping up to make a positive difference in these heroes' lives. We could not do what we do without folks like you!"
Golden Tee's developer and manufacturer, Incredible Technologies (Arlington Heights, IL), is assisting the players to make this year's events the most successful fundraising tournaments to date, said chief executive Elaine Hodgson.
"During Golden Tee's long history, hundreds of thousands of players have won over $50 million competing in our online tournaments," she recalled. "Now to see our players come together as part of our 25th anniversary celebration, and compete to raise money for such a worthy organization as Salute, is very gratifying."
Besides individual player pledge pages, non-participants will be able to make donations through their Facebook and Twitter accounts. "We're going to make sure that anyone who is a fan of Golden Tee will be able to participate and donate, even if they're not playing in the tournament, " Brock said.
The Golden Tee Players Charity Championship's official website offers additional information and permits visitors to pledge donations to the cause. It is at goldentee.com/PCC.
Founded by Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton in 1985, Incredible Technologies is celebrating its first quarter-century of successful growth during 2010. More information on IT's popular golf simulator is available at goldentee.com.