Annual golf tournament raises nearly $95,000 for AYF youth

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More than 85 people took to the links on Monday, May 8 to golf for a good cause on Monday, May 8, raising nearly $95,000 for scholarship funds to support youth attending American Youth Foundation programs.

The Donald Danforth Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament has taken place nearly every year since 2001 in memory of lifelong AYF supporter and avid golfer, Donald Danforth Jr. This year, more than 100 golfers, volunteers, and AYF staff came out to enjoy a beautiful day and support the AYF mission at Algonquin Golf Club.

Presented by Nestlé Purina PetCare, the golf tournament is the AYF’s signature fundraiser, having raised more $2 million for youth to experience exceptional programming at Miniwanca and Merrowvista in the history of the tournament. The funds generated through the tournament provide financial assistance to inspire youth each year to discover their best selves.

In addition to sponsorships, attendees also gave back through fund-a-need contributions and a robust raffle for prizes like a St. Louis Blues game day package, an AYF Swag Bag collection of branded merchandise, and a St. Louis Cardinals game day package that included special perks with KMOX Sports Director and tournament emcee Tom Ackerman.

“We’re so grateful to everyone who came out to support the AYF mission and the kids we get to serve,” said Director of Development Jessa Glick. “So many kids will get to experience the magic of Miniwanca and Merrowvista thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, volunteers, and golfers.”

After a day on the greens, golfers enjoyed a cocktail hourand learned more about the life-changing power of AYF programs when camper Mary Ruth Sanders shared how her experiences at Miniwanca each summer have helped shaped her today.

AYF President Anna Kay Vorsteg said it was wonderful to hear from Mary Ruth. “I love telling supporters about the good work we do, but nothing can compare with a young participant sharing their personal story about how AYF programs have impacted them,” she said.

The Donald Danforth Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament will return in 2024. Check out some of our favorite moments from this year’s tournament below.