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October 3rd, 2011
Thirty-six years ago, Lawrence Holtzlander, a local salesman with Air Conditioning Suppliers, Inc., now Aireco, hosted a golf tournament to benefit Children’s Hospital Foundation. Over the years, the tournament has grown from 10 to up to 130 players, raising $152,045 since 1985 when records were first kept. But unlike traditional tournaments where golfers strive for the lowest score, the winner of the Foolish Open tournament is the team with the highest score.
“We try to make it a fun event,” said Nancy McDaniel, administrative assistant at Aireco and tournament coordinator since Mr. Holtzlander’s retirement in 2001.
Four years ago, the captain’s choice tournament added “fun holes” where players make a donation to the Foundation to do something unusual like hitting a golf ball with a baseball bat, using a giant golf club to hit the ball or playing a 7-iron for the entire hole.
“The fun events break up the monotony of playing golf,” Nancy said, “and provide another way to make money for Children’s Hospital Foundation.”
Held the third Thursday of September, the annual tournament pairs salesmen and HVAC technicians from Aireco locations in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. against company vendors, manufacturers and customers. Aireco executives travel from Maryland, and the former president of Air Conditioning Suppliers still returns for the company-wide event.
“We’ve had tremendous support since the beginning,” said Nancy of the event’s sponsors and players. Over the years, many local companies have also donated raffle items including flat screen TVs and iPads.
The Foolish Open raises funds through player entry fees, raffle and prize drawings, fun hole donations and sponsorships. Played at the Hollows Golf Club for 18 years, the event now rotates among various Richmond-area courses including Brookwoods and The Crossings.
“It’s a great event to get together and raise money for children,” said Nancy, who continues to direct tournament proceeds to the Foundation as a way to honor the wishes of Mr. Holtzlander, who died two years ago.
Pictured: Mike Godsey with Aireco played one of the Foolish Open’s Fun Holes in September using a giant golf club.Return to Current News >>