News and Information
2017 Wee One Fundraiser
Thank You 2017 Wee One Sponsors
|Platinum Sponsors - $2,000|
Great Lakes Turf, LLC
Jacobsen Great Lakes
J W Turf, Inc.
Osburn Industries, Inc.
Spartan Distributors, Inc.
|Bronze Sponsors - $250|
|Herman & Associates
Hills & Forrest Golf Course Architects
Michael Kuhn & Associates, Inc.
Soil O2 Solutions
Traverse City Golf & Country Club
The 8th annual Michigan fundraiser for the Wee One Foundation was held on Monday, May 22nd at Birmingham Country Club. The Wee One Foundation is a benevolence organization that assists families of golf course maintenance professionals who have suffered a catastrophic illness and need financial assistance. A sold out field of 92 golfers participated in the event.
Linda Billette, wife of Bloomfield Hills Country Club superintendent Dan Billette, stood before a gathering of nearly 120 superintendents and industry professionals at Birmingham Country Club and did something that she used to do without much effort - she spoke. With a tongue that was rebuilt from part of her abdomen just two months earlier, Mrs. Billette addressed the attendees of the Michigan 2017 Wee One fundraiser.
“I never imagined that I would be in this situation right now, at 53 years of age. I was healthy, I ate right, but it just goes to show you that we’re not in control of what happens to us,” said Mrs. Billette. After years of trying to figure out why she was having difficulty talking and swallowing, doctors finally discovered the cause - a cancerous mass at the base of her tongue - adenocystic carcinoma of the salivary gland and tongue, Stage 4. She had a 10-hour surgery to remove her tongue and to reconstruct the base of her mouth in March. With skyrocketing medical bills, the Billettes were nominated for assistance from the Wee One Foundation. “ I was just like you for many years, playing in this tournament, enjoying every minute of it but never, ever did I dream that I might be one of the beneficiaries of it,” said Dan Billette. “Wee One came to us this year with our situation and it was really inspiring.”
|Linda and Dan Billette (Bloomfield Hills C.C.) addresses attendees at the 2017 Wee One Fundraiser, held May 22nd at Birmingham Country Club.|
Mrs. Billette faces months of therapy and radiation treatment but her resolve is undaunted. “We’re not looking back, we’re moving forward. That’s the attitude that I’m trying to take on this journey that I’m on. In light of all that, we are so grateful to the Wee One for donating to us.”
The success of this year’s event, which raised nearly $25,000 for the foundation, is largely due to the generosity and support of the sponsoring companies shown at right.
Thanks to Superintendent Dan Dingman, Assistant Superintendent Mike Montney, Operations Manager Joe Basso, Golf Pro Joe Herbstreith, Golf Services Scott Coleman, Catering Director Michelle Ray, Chef Rich King and Logistics Manager Gordon Lacy for their assistance in hosting the event.
Lastly, thanks to the team of volunteers who work behind the scenes to make the event a success: Steve Cook, Bonnie Van Poppelen and Andy Gianino of Oakland Hills CC, Scott Rettmann of Walnut Creek CC, Jeff Fisette of St. Clair Golf Club, and Mike Plague of Great Lakes Turf, LLC.
The Wee One Foundation, which was started in 2004, has gifted over $1,000,000. Though a milestone, more importantly, the Foundation has helped over 80 families in 27 different States and continues to do so through support generated from events, private giving, and industry partnerships.
Winners of the Two Best Ball net team competition were:
1st place – Micah Wise, Phil Gutowski, Mike McClure, Joe Ettawageshik
2nd Place – Dan Dingman, Tom Healy, Jim Reinhart, Al Tochet
3rd Place – Rob Pylar, Jeff Fisette, Nick Johnson, Sal Sulolli
Closest-to-the Pin prizes were won by:
Phil Gutowski - Hole #3
Jeff Frentz - Hole #11
Longest Drive prizes were won by:
Kris Kalil - Hole #1
Jeff Frentz - Hole #14
***Keep an eye out for the save the date email announcing when and where the event will be for 2018. To learn more about the Wee One Foundation, visit weeone.org today.