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posted: 8/9/2012 9:02 AM

Golf: Foundation initiatives benefit

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With great weather to start and a bigger turnout than ever before, the fifth annual Links Technology Cup was on par Wednesday to be a success for the Schaumburg Park Foundation.

"This is the perfect example of a private enterprise and a public enterprise working together," said Brian Burke, president of Links Technology in Schaumburg. "It's good for (the Foundation); it's good for us."

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About 200 people came out to the Schaumburg Golf Club to participate in the foundation's biggest fundraiser of the year. Participants came from many area businesses that sponsored the event, including John Barleycorn, Mesirow Financial and the Daily Herald.

Burke said being a resident of Schaumburg for more than 40 years, along with his involvement with the park district for more than 30 years, helped lead him to the decision five years ago to put on the event.

"It was a natural thing," he said. "(The foundation) wanted to raise money and they were looking for a new way -- something different."

Patricia Casler, director of communications and corporate relations for the Schaumburg Park District, said the event has grown to be not only a fundraiser, but also a "friend-raiser."

"It gives us visibility in the community, as well as it really brings together all the people who have supported the foundation over the years," she said.

Casler said the event raised about $40,000 last year. She was hopeful the same amount or more would be raised this year.

Money raised from the event is used for a variety of foundation initiatives, including scholarships, the LATER after-school program for kids, and renovations at Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary.

Bob Schmidt, president of both the Schaumburg Park Foundation and the Park District Board of Commissioners, said in the past money from the foundation has helped with the purchase of a horse-drawn wagon and livestock for Spring Valley, along with the donation of a bathroom-equipped bus to the park district.

"It's really a community effort," Schmidt said of the fundraiser. "(The participants) believe in what we do."

Prior to teeing off, Burke introduced the park district's new executive director, Tony LaFrenere, who was on his first day of the job. He replaces recently retired Jean Schlinkmann, who also was present at the outing.

Burke said the golf outing's benefits stretch throughout the year.

"If this goes well, it helps (the foundation) in more ways than one," he said. "It doesn't just help with a dollar today. It helps over time because the exposure for the foundation ... is really critical."

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