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New Lenox chamber golf outing unites business community

The morning of Aug. 4 did not do much justice setting the scene for the many eager residents and members of the community who joined forces for the New Lenox Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf outing at The Sanctuary Golf Course.

Rain clouds began to fill the sky and the temperature started to rise, along with the wind, but it did not deter golfers from hitting the green and driving range to prepare for the 12:30 p.m. shotgun start.

The superhero-themed outing was still shaping up to be a success with 28 foursomes signed up to golf.

“It’s going to be super, because it’s a superhero theme,” said Emily Johnson, CEO of New Lenox Chamber of Commerce.

To carry out the superhero theme, a number of people donned costumes. In addition, all of the raffle prize baskets and sponsorship materials were coordinated by design.

Johnson said sponsorship opportunities maxed out leading up to this year’s event.

“[I’m really] happy to see the support from all of our area businesses coming out to either be here today or sponsor, so that we can host a really great event for the people who have turned out,” she said. “[It’s] a great representation of businesses that are here, as well.”

Jon Osborne, the event’s co-chairman and president of Image 360, said it’s clear that businesses enjoy serving the residents and community members from across the area.

“I’m a resident of New Lenox, but my business is in Mokena. We serve the whole Lincoln-Way area, as well as beyond that,” he said. “This is one of our ways to give back to the community and just another form of sponsorship we do.”

Johnson said the chamber is happy to serve as an organization to help bring the business community together.

“I think, as the chamber, … I know we’re the New Lenox Chamber, but I never look at us as strictly New Lenox,” she said. “I think that our communities are so tightly linked, and the boundaries are so closely tied that looking at the Lincoln-Way area, as a whole, is a better business plan for not the just chamber, but for our members, as well. I know that they see beyond our New Lenox limits. We see our neighboring communities and [value] bringing all of us together to benefit everyone, because no one does business just in New Lenox, no one shops just in New Lenox. We all cross the borders into each other’s communities, and supporting those Lincoln-Way area businesses is important to everyone.”

The event does a wonderful job of connecting the chamber with community members who might be interested in joining, Johnson said.

“Anyone can golf in this outing,” Johnson said. “We actually have some foursomes that are just community members that have come out to play in a fun outing. I mean, we’ve been doing our outing for over 30 years. I would say our outing has a reputation for being fun, enjoyable, great camaraderie, good spirit, great food. The Sanctuary [Golf Course] does an awesome job of really making sure that everyone feels taken care of, and we’re happy to have our outing here, for sure.”

Osborne agreed.

“I mean, some of the biggest benefits is us, as business owners, and networking and seeing how we can help each other in the community,” he said.

To that aim, Johnson said the chamber is happy to help facilitate networking between business owners.

Golfing at the event cost $150 per golfer or $600 per foursome and included a cart, lunch, dinner and beverages on the course. Those who sponsored a hole paid $850 for a foursome, and their company logo appeared on a sponsor sign, program book and chamber website and raffle donation. Active and passive sponsorships were also available for $300 and $150, respectively.

Proceeds raised were to help support chamber programming and benefits to the membership.

“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Johnson said. “All the proceeds that are raised here directly go right back to supporting our member businesses and helping them continue to succeed in our community and keep our efforts to help them keep their doors open and thriving.”

The outing was capped off by dinner followed by an awards ceremony, raffle drawings and a ball drop.

“It’s a fun twist on the golf outing for the day,” Johnson said.

The event featured two winning teams out of two divisions, with M & M Custom Flooring, Inc. topping the male bracket and the New Lenox Community Park District earning first place in the mixed division. M & M Custom Flooring consisted of Mike Thompson, Rob Kegley, Tim Meagher and Rick Criscione. Representing the Park District was Garry Kraemer, Dale Larson, Olga Viano and Herb Dollarhide.

This year’s golf outing was made possible thanks, in part, to its chairpersons, Melissa Walter and Jon Osborne, Johnson said.

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