For the last four years, Afena Federal Credit Union has rented out the River’s Edge Family Golf Course every October, to host their Monster Mini-Golf Scramble. The event allows families to enjoy free putt-putt for the evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Other activities also included a cake walk, face painting and more.
The primary purpose for the event, however, has been to raise money for Riley Children’s Hospital. Merchandise and baked goods were sold, with all proceeds going to Riley. Afena Federal Credit Union also worked with around 30 different businesses this year that helped sponsor the event.
In conjunction with helping Riley, this free event is also a way to give families around the community an opportunity to come to the golf course, who may not have been able to afford it otherwise.
“The first year I did this, a little girl came up and hugged me around my legs and said thank you because she always wanted to come here, but her mom said they couldn’t afford to,” said Afena President and CEO Karen Gilliam-Brown.
Gilliam-Brown was inspired to create this fundraiser when a couple of her colleagues had children that encountered life threatening medical conditions, but were welcomed in by Riley Children’s Hospital. She mentioned how it can be challenging for some of the families in Marion to afford adequate hospital care for their children, but Riley has been able to help.
“It’s wonderful to have a hospital like Riley, where it doesn’t matter of your economic status, but you can always count on them to help you,” said Gilliam-Brown.
Afena Federal Credit Union works with a program through CO-OP Financial, called the Miracle Match program. This program matches up to a certain percentage of the donations Afena receives.
“This is another reason why we choose Riley because we can really stretch our donation dollars,” said Afena marketing and Business Development Manager, Raushanna Christman.
The Monster Mini-Golf Scramble has also been a way to bring together the different credit unions within the area.
“It’s a good chance to support Riley obviously, and I think the credit union movement in this area come together,” said Baxter Capital Management President, Dave Smith.
In years prior, Afena had been able to raise about 10,000 dollars for Riley, but due to limited funds within the miracle match program, they weren’t able to reach that mark this year. However, president Gilliam-Brown still looked to raise at least 6,000 dollars this year.
Gilliam-Brown hopes through more community participation and continual business sponsorships, the Monster Mini-Golf Scramble can raise even more money for Riley Children’s Hospital in the years to come.