WASHINGTON CITY — Washington City Mayor Ken Neilson combined his love of golf with his desire to help people and in the process collected enough canned goods to donate to 500 needy families.
The fifth annual Mayor’s Cup Charity Golf Tournament held at Green Spring Golf Course on Monday featured about 100 golfers who banded together to donate canned food to the Utah Food Bank.
Neilson told St. George News that he first saw that many families in the Washington community needed food about five years ago before he became mayor.
“In church service we came across some folks that were really needing food, that weren’t telling anybody about it,” Neilson said. “We were able to help them out, and then when I became mayor about five years ago I thought that I’d like to hold a Mayor’s Cup.”
But it wasn’t monetary donations that Neilsen was after.
“Instead of charging golfers money to play, we thought instead we could require foursomes to donate boxes of canned goods that we could give to the food bank. It’s been a wonderful event every year.”
Community leaders and area businesses kicked in their support to help make the event a yearly success.
“Local Washington businesses and county organizations help make it a great event for us to give back to the community,” Neilson said. “Being able to use this venue, our local city golf course, is a big draw for the tournament.”
Most of the golfing teams of four bring more than the required four boxes of canned goods, Neilson said.
“In the two years prior to Covid, we were able to donate enough for 800 families and then 700 families the next year,” Neilson said. “This year we kind of scheduled it really quick, so I was happy to see all the golfers who just wanted to help feed people.”
Neilson is an avid golfer and said it’s a thrill to combine his love for the game with service to his community.
“It’s right up my alley,” he said. “I hope we have it at least for every year I’m mayor.”
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