On Friday, February 3rd, 120 people competed in The Inside Outing – an indoor mini-golf tournament at the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Grand Rapids. Presented by Godwin Plumbing, the event offered not only a reprieve from chilly temps, but also an opportunity to raise money to support people with Down syndrome – more than $12,000 was raised for the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM). DSAWM provides more than 300 West Michigan families experiencing Down syndrome with educational, emotional and financial support.
The unique event provides a fun opportunity during Michigan’s February doldrums. The one of a kind course went above and beyond your typical mini-golf experience. There were special holes like the “Foot Wedge Hole” (putting with your foot), the “Happy Gilmore Hole” (putting with a hockey stick), and “Batters Up” (putting with a baseball bat) that kept things interesting. And title sponsor Godwin Plumbing redefined “circling the drain” with their hole.
There were awards as well. Team Maggie May won championship belts as well as a gift certificate to Treetops Resort. The runner up was Team Vladimir Putting, who won registrations for the Inflatable 5k and GR on Tap. Scott Brew took home a Grand Rapids Staycation Package for the longest putt. Kasi Meyer won for closest to the pin blindfolded and the Boobie Prize went to none other than DSAWM Program Director Katherine Key Griswold. “I may have had the lowest score,” said Katherine, “but I had a lot of fun for a great cause, so I still won.”
Perhaps the most amazing thing about The Inside Outing is that the event was funded by local business and planned and executed by a group of West Michigan fathers who are raising children with Down syndrome. It was a lot of work, but worth it, according to committee member Jim Leach: “We had volunteers for the event to help with everything from set up, registration, help during the event, and clean up – including people who have Down syndrome. We were able to introduce a lot of people to the DSAWM as well as some self-advocates with Down syndrome. Everyone had a great time and is looking forward to next year.”
Inside Outing Sponsors
Inside Outing Committee