Mount Nittany Health Foundation is proud to recognize the Burning Tee Golf League for their dedication and support of the annual Mount Nittany Health Golf Classic. This group of dedicated golfers – with a 9-hole and 18-hole division, and made up of more than 120 members with varying skill levels – can be found on the Penn State Golf Courses almost every Tuesday from April through October.
In 2007, Don Hastings, one of the Burning Tee Golf League members, joined the Golf Classic committee. The very next year he launched a league fundraiser for the event. The “Birdie Bucks Challenge” invites each member to donate $1 every time they score a birdie during the season. For those not familiar with golf terminology, a birdie is scoring one-stroke-under-par.
“In 2008, I decided that I would pledge $1 for every birdie that I made and shared the idea to the league members that year. Anybody who wanted to participate could sign up for any amount they wanted to pledge. I was hoping that we could possibly raise $500 or so to give to the hospital at their annual fundraising golf tournament that fall. We ended up raising $3,100 that year! When I reported our success to the league members, they all wanted to continue the Birdie Bucks Challenge in the following years. Thus, the Birdie Bucks was born,” shared Hastings.
Each year the league’s generous donations continued to rise. This year the league had to cancel their season due to the pandemic, but that didn’t stop our friends from wanting to donate. In fact, this year they donated an astounding $25,220. This year's Mount Nittany Health Golf Classic proceeds are designated to the Mount Nittany Health COVID-19 Response Fund and other Mount Nittany Health departments. The COVID-19 Response Fund will be used for patient care, including testing, medication, medical supplies and staff support.
Since the challenge began, the league has raised an impressive $106,400. This year, to honor Hastings and the Burning Tee Golf League’s ongoing support, Tom Frank, a fellow league member, presented Hastings with an engraved plaque on behalf of Mount Nittany Health Foundation, congratulating him on the success of the program.
“I am so proud that we all were able to make this program the success that it is. I want to thank all of our members for generously and enthusiastically supporting the idea from the very beginning,” shared Hastings. “Serving as president of the Burning Tee Golf League for 20 years and on the Mount Nittany Health Golf Classic committee for over 10 years, and being able to raise money with our Birdie Bucks program has been one of the highlights of my life. It has been an honor and a joy working with so many great people.”
“We are incredibly grateful to the Burning Tee Golf League for their remarkable donations and ongoing support of our community,” states Simon Corby, executive director, Mount Nittany Health Foundation. “We are proud to call this team of golfers our friends and supporters.”