TYRONE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly 150 people will lace up their golf shoes and hit the green at The Falls at Barber Creek later this month to support Special Olympics Michigan. 

Paul Fry and Bronson Mathieu, who are helping coordinate the event, said they’ve grown passionate about raising money for SOMI since they first got involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

“We come together, and we have all these different fundraisers throughout the year to get as much money fundraised for the athletes of Special Olympics Michigan, which allows the athletes to get the training they need, any equipment, and get them the funds to get sent off to their event,” Fry explained.

“When I became a trooper, a couple of the guys brought me in, they said they do some stuff for the Special Olympics—brought me to a Torch Run conference up in Traverse City. Ever since then, we’ve just been planning things and raising money for the athletes,” Mathieu said. 

The LETR West Side Golf Outing, which will take place on Aug. 27, is the first event Mathieu has helped coordinate. So far, it looks like it’s going to be a success.

“Last year, I think we raised around $14,000. We had less than 30 teams. This year we got 36 teams, 144 golfers. Just trying to get as many people out and about as possible.”

On top of supporting a great cause, Mathieu said the course is special to him.

“The Falls At Barber Creek means a lot to me. I’m from Kent City. I grew up here and worked here before I became a trooper. The course is phenomenal.”

Although this year’s team roster is full, the troopers said they still need support. 

“We make most of the money through sponsors, hole sponsors. One hundred dollars, we have a lot of local businesses get their name out there and they have team sponsors, grill sponsors, so that’s the biggest thing this year is everything is full as far as the golfers, but we’re still looking for sponsors,” Mathieu said.

Sponsorships range from $100 to $1,100. All money raised goes directly to the athletes of Special Olympics Michigan.

If you weren’t able to get registered in time to participate as a golfer, Fry and Mathieu said there are plenty of other events to get involved in. There are shorter community runs that people can take part in that coincide with the Law Enforcement Torch Run from Sept. 9-16. You can find more information about those here

You can also check out Special Olympics Michigan’s event page or make an online donation.