The Annual Golf Tournament held in Ste. Genevieve County has raised over $175,000 for BackStoppers since the first tournament fourteen years ago. The Ste. Genevieve County BackStoppers supporter group is integral to the growth of our cause, and we are honored to share with you their efforts.
Major Jason Schott and Firefighter/Paramedic Eric Coleman lead the way in generating support within the Ste. Genevieve community. Major Schott talks about founding the Ste. Genevieve BackStoppers Supporter Group, “I contacted Eric and we immediately started to think of ways to help raise money. We decided a golf tournament would be a great event to showcase our emergency services and help raise money for BackStoppers.”
The Golf Tournament grew through the talk of the town and a genuine desire to help BackStoppers, but the community was struck with a personal loss when Firefighter David Grass, Jr. died in the line of duty on July 8, 2009. “After that, the Tournament doubled in size because the community saw what BackStoppers did for the Grass family. Since then, the Tournament has sold out every year and we have to turn teams away.” Firefighter Grass is honored every year at the Tournament.
There are certain touches that give the Tournament a special flair and keep participants looking forward to the event. Swag bags stuffed with premium items are given to participants along with free DQ Blizzards supplied by the local Dairy Queen, something that eager participants ask about year after year.
All the things that make the Golf Tournament special are part of a planning process that begins in February with the Tournament date in September. “During this time, we have the help of our wives and kids. We have made planning and setting up the Tournament a family event. On the day of the Tournament we have about 25 volunteers who all have some relation to a first responder helping us make the Tournament a success.”
A spirit of giving and respect for first responders is the key factor in what makes Ste. Genevieve a standout supporter group. “The community supports first responders and understands that the job is not easy and comes with putting their lives on the line.”
When asked what motivates him to keep going for BackStoppers, Major Schott answers, “The memory of David, his family and all first responders and their families that have paid the highest price is what motivates Eric and me to share the mission of BackStoppers. BackStoppers is the lifeline for the families of the fallen. Without them, the families would be struggling to find direction during some of the darkest times of their lives.”
“Even in 2020, Ste. Genevieve County presented their largest contribution from the Golf Tournament. This support is only achieved by diligent efforts, generous support and a heart for the families we serve. Thank you!” – Chief Ron Battelle, Executive Director