The rainy weather delayed the start of the annual Jackson Memorial Golf Classic on Monday morning, June 13, by two hours. Dedicated golfers were able to complete all 18 holes and enjoy the traditional steak dinner, and raised in excess of $18,000.
“The Robert Jackson Memorial Foundation was established in 2001 in memory of our good friend and colleague Robert “Bob” Jackson. Robert was an officer and director of both the Canton State Bank and the First Southeast Bank of Harmony, as well as serving as a director through the years of the Harmony Golf Club,” according to promotional materials.
The mission of the Robert Jackson Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3), formed in 2003 and headquartered in Harmony, Minn., is: To provide scholarships and other support to enhance community activities in the Harmony area.
According to founder and Foundation chairman Jerome Bushman, Jackson was faithful to the bank, the Harmony Golf Course, and education. Bushman shared, “He wanted to die at the bank or on the golf course.” Jackson even built his home next to the golf course.
Members of the Foundation’s board of directors include: Jerome Bushman, chairman, Agricultural and Marketing Executive; Christopher Skaalen, president, president/CEO First Southeast Bank; Steven Donney, secretary/treasurer, vice president of Investment Services, First Southeast Bank; Jeffrey Soma, director, president of Harmony Agri Services, Inc; Lee Bigalk, director, retired – former owner of Bigalk Chevrolet; and Linda Everson, director, retired.
The first tournament was held in 2001 and has been held every year since except for 2020 when it did not happen because of the pandemic. The tournament is the Foundation’s only fundraiser and the golf club’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Bushman emphasized that 50% goes into the education fund and 50% is allocated to community projects. The tournament has supported the golf course over the years to keep it going. Harmony’s golf course is one of the oldest in Minnesota.
The tournament has raised over $350,000 since its inception, with each year raising approximately $15,000.
The non-profit donates to the Harmony Golf Course Capital Improvement Fund (a non-profit), Harmony Area Community Foundation, various city projects, various school projects, and summer recreation projects.
Skaalen, president of the Foundation, shared, “We like to donate to the Community Foundation because they use those funds to fund numerous community/area projects.”
This year the foundation will award three $1,000 scholarships. Recipients are Lauren Mensink, Marissa Topness, and Alec Sikkink, all from Fillmore Central High School.
The tournament includes 18 holes of golf with a steak supper, door prizes, and live and silent auctions. Donated items for the live and silent auctions include bottled wine, cigars, artwork, golf clubs, MU Marquette golf memorabilia, golf bag, and other sought-after donations.
The tournament format is a “play your own ball,” not a “best ball.” An early count included 70 golfers signed up, plus another 30-plus signed up for just dinner or lunch – so a total participation of over 100.
This year’s tournament low gross winners were Teri Jarland (women) and Race Cuckler (men).
The success of the tournament would not happen without the sponsors, contributors, and golfers and the staff at the Harmony Golf Club. The next Jackson Memorial Golf Classic is scheduled for June 12, 2023, at the Harmony Golf Club.