Putting the fun in fundraising, White Bear Lake’s BEAR’ly Open event does so in true Minnesota fashion as an official Winter Carnival event. Celebrating its 14th year, BEAR’ly Open invites hundreds of local residents to Ramsey County Beach on the frozen White Bear Lake to enjoy rounds of golf on ice.
Established in 2008 by members of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake and White Bear Events, BEAR’ly Open was created as a way to celebrate the community and support the White Bear Area Food Shelf (WBAFS). Typically equipped with two nine-hole courses, a variety of delicious food, a hospitality tent, music and a Community Dance, there is no shortage of entertainment during this jam-packed weekend. But due to the pandemic, this year's event will look a little different.
"There will be no sponsor tents or congregating of any kind," said Ken Galloway, founder and current chair of BEAR'ly Open. "Instead, we will have the course open on Friday and Saturday, February 5th and 6th. We will sell tee times in groups of four and spaced out 10 minutes apart; golfers will register and pay for their tee time in advance on our website."
The event will also include a virtual Gala on Friday night, February 5th, as well as an online auction that will run for four days up until Friday.
And, as always, it's about giving back; all of the proceeds of this event go toward the WBAFS.
Providing support to the area since 1977, the food shelf is a critical resource for local families striving to live a healthy, nourished lifestyle.
Through their partnerships with various nonprofits and local businesses, the food shelf is able to multiply and increase the value of the donations. “For every dollar you would spend at a grocery store, we would be able to buy eight dollars’ worth of food through our connections,” says Perry Petersen, executive director of WBAFS.
To date, the BEAR’ly Open event has raised over $200,000, which equates to more than $1.6 million in food for community members in need.
With a lofty goal of reaching $2 million this year, Galloway says this event “has really made quite the impact,” and that he would love to see BEAR’ly Open continue to expand and reach more people.
Please visit bearlyopen.org for up-to-the-minute updates on how to reserve your tee time, the virtual Gala and the online auction.
In addition to his work as a Rotary club member and an organizer of this event, Galloway also started Galloway Culinary in an effort to combine his experience in management with his passion for food.
With an emphasis on healthful cooking, he creates gourmet, multi-course meals for customers—and teaches private cooking classes. Look for a full Tastemakers story, devoted to Galloway and his culinary talents, in the March/April issue of White Bear Lake Magazine.