July 26, 2007 at 8:00 a.m.
Golfers in the first 11 years of the NBCA Classic played in typical mid-July heat and humidity. However, the 2007 event was held in nearly perfect conditions. Partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the low 80's, a comfortable due point and a refreshing northerly breeze greeted the golfers and workers.
The NBCA Classic, under the direction of longtime 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, $20,000 and $5,000 and a long-putt contest that earned two lucky golfers memberships at Falcon Ridge provided plenty of incentive at this year's tournament.
Hundreds of prizes have also helped make the NBCA Classic 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 rooms, pitching machines and batting cages 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.
"Thanks go out to the special people who offered their time volunteering their services during the day," said Schlagel. "Many of our high school athletes' and adult volunteers' work goes unnoticed. For a tournament to be successful, we need to have quality people volunteering their services. Their commitment to our tournament is the reason we've had the success we've had.
"I would like to thank everyone who who participated," Schlagel continued. "Your support of our Golf Classic and your generosity is greatly appreciated."
This year, the tournament cleared more than $8,000; money that will provide benefits for more North Branch kids.