Tannenhauf GC, a family-owned business that has operated in Alliance, Ohio for 61 years and was named the local Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year for 2020, used to give away free rounds in return for frozen turkeys that could be donated to a local organization. But no longer having adequate freezer space, the club switched this year to offering discounts on greens fees or merchandise purchases for donations of canned goods. “We’re so blessed to have been able to be open and feel like we [could provide] a place to feel safe and be outdoors,” said Head Golf Pro Mary Suitca. “We just wanted to give back to the community.”
When Mary Suitca wanted to give back to the Alliance, Ohio community this fall, she decided to take inspiration from her father, The Alliance Review reported.
Suitca is the Head Golf Professional at Tannenhauf Golf Club, a family-owned business that has operated in Alliance for 61 years. Her father told her the club used to do a frozen turkey drive in the fall for the Alliance Pregnancy Center, The Review reported.
“My dad said years and years ago, they would collect frozen turkeys,” she said. “If you donated a frozen turkey, you would get a free round of golf.”
But while Tannenhauf GC no longer has the freezer space to do a frozen turkey collection, Suitca thought the same idea could be applied to canned goods, The Review reported. So this year, the club held a food collection throughout November to support the Alliance Community Pantry. For every canned good that golfers brought to donate, they received $1 off their greens fees or merchandise purchase, up to $5.
Over two weeks, the golf club collected 275 viable items for the Alliance Community Pantry, The Review reported.
“We’re so blessed to have been able to be open and feel like we gave the community a place to feel safe and be outdoors,” Suitca said. “We just wanted to give back to the Alliance community.”
Tannenhauf received the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Small Business of the Year Award this fall, and Suitca said receiving the award increased the golf club’s desire to give back to the community, The Review reported.
“That was even a more pushing point, because we were just so humbled to get that award,” she said. “It was definitely another driving factor to give back.”
The club had actually planned earlier in the year to do something for the community in the fall, The Review reported, but those plans fell by the wayside as the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“Once it started getting closer and closer to November, we were like ‘Hey, even if we can see what we can get for the next two weeks, let’s give this a shot,” Suitca said.
The food collection, Suitca told The Review, was meant “to kind of show that we’re united, and we’re still in this together, even with everything going on. Even if we just have a little bit, there’s so much we can give to our fellow community members.”
Many golfers who brought items to donate to the pantry, she noted, didn’t want the discount on their purchases. “A lot of people were like, ‘We don’t even want the money off. We just think it’s great that you’re doing this,'” she said.
Some people even dropped off canned goods without playing golf or purchasing any merchandise, Suitca said. Those individuals received a voucher from Tannenhauf that will allow them to come back and use the discount at a later date, The Review reported.
Kathy Kramer, President of the Alliance Community Pantry’s Board of Directors, said food donations make a difference, especially during the pandemic, because they help fill in areas where the food bank is short, The Review reported.
“Every amount of food that we get is used and well-appreciated,” Kramer said. “The things that are supplemented by people who just donate usually cover those areas that we are lacking.”