August 9, 2006 at 7:41 a.m.
Plentiful ice cold soft drinks and water and reminders about the potential dangers of the heat were included with the entry fee.
As an extra precaution, an EMT was on site. However, an unexpected cloud cover kept the temperatures in the 80's and, combined with a steady southwest wind, resulted in relatively pleasant conditions. The NBCA Classic, the brainchild of North Branch coach Larry Schlagel, has proved to be a very popular attraction. Contests on every hole, including hole-in-one events giving golfers a chance to win a new car, a golf car and $20,000 and a long-putt contest that earned one lucky golfer a year's membership at Falcon Ridge, greeted this year's participants. Hundreds of prizes have also helped make the event a popular event. Those prizes were distributed during a delicious banquet at the North Branch Fire Hall following the day of golf. The feast was prepared and served by Don Kivimaki and his staff. Proceeds from the tournament are used to purchase equipment for the North Branch Schools.
Over the years, the NBCA has provided many things that have enhanced the experience of ISD 138 students. Money generated from the Golf Classic was used to purchase equipment for the high school and middle school weight rooms. The seats that North Branch and visiting teams use during contests in the NBHS gym were also provided by the NBCA.
The display cases highlighting outstanding North Branch athletes, equipment for the athletic training room, pitching machines for baseball and softball, video equipment and digital cameras as well as numerous other pieces of equipment are also the result of profits from the tournament. In addition to the hole sponsors, the contributors and participants, dozens of people helped make the tournament work so well. "For our tournament to be a success, many people are involved behind the scenes that do not receive the credit they deserve," Schlagel said. "In addition, thanks go out to the special people that offered their time volunteering their services during the day. Many of our high school student athletes' and adult volunteers' work goes unnoticed." This year, the tournament cleared more than $7500; money that will provide benefits for more North Branch kids.