A game of “Gennis” for a good cause

SHENANDOAH CHILLY OPEN... A game of “Gennis” can be played at the Shenandoah Chilly Open Saturday, March 7 at McComb Park. This event is being held as a fundraiser for the Priest Park all-inclusive park playground.

Photo provided

Get the winter gear ready to play a game of “Gennis” as Shenandoah hosts its first Chilly Open in March.

An idea stemming from the Wayzata Chilly Open held each February at Wayzata Bay on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota comes the Shenandoah Chilly Open.

Held as a fundraiser for the Priest Park all-inclusive park playground, the event starts at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 7 at McComb Park in Shenandoah.

The game of “Gennis” is a cross between golf and tennis. It is played with a tennis ball and participants can choose their club of choice; golf club, hockey stick, tennis racket, baseball bat or anything else that can be used to swing and hit the ball.

An 18-hole course will be set up at McComb Park. The city will provide the tennis balls, but participants must bring their own club.

Chad Tiemeyer, Shenandoah Parks and Recreation Director said they are looking for 18 businesses, clubs or organizations to be sponsors at $50 a hole. Businesses are encouraged to decorate the hole and come up with rules and a design for their hole.

“They get to design their own holes however they want,” said Tiemeyer. “They can put in obstacles and challenges.”

Tiemeyer said organizers are also looking for restaurants or individuals to make chili to donate for the event. Chili, coffee and hot chocolate will be available under the shelter at McComb Park for a free-will donation.

Tiemeyer said the event will be for all ages and is meant to be fun whether you are playing a game of “Gennis” or just come out to support the cause.

“It’s just a fun Saturday,” said Tiemeyer. “Everybody just goes out and has a great time.”

Tiemeyer said he hopes it will serve as a town-building event as well and will give people a chance to meet some of the local business owners.

Tiemeyer said to watch the Shenandoah Park and Recreation Facebook page for online sign up to participate in the game. Participants may also sign up the day of the event.

The cost to play a game of “Gennis” will be $20 for adults, $10 under age 18, $30 for couples and $40 for an entire family.

Tiemeyer encourages people to pre-register for the event. Early registration will help them determine if specific tee times need to be set up.

“It’s probably going to be cold, but that’s kind of the fun of it,” said Tiemeyer. “It’s getting people out, bringing them together, bundled up doing silly fun outdoor stuff. There might be snow, and there might not be. I think it would be more fun and a little more challenging with snow.”

Tiemeyer said he hopes to see the community get involved in this winter fun event. He said there would be other activities such as corn hole and the playground equipment will be available for kids.

“We would like to see somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000 raised from this event, and the free-will donations for the chili,” said Tiemeyer.

Tiemeyer said they need to raise an additional $60,000 on top of the grants they have applied for to complete the Priest Park all-inclusive park playground. He said they have applied for approximately $120,000 in grants.

To sponsor a hole or donate chili, contact Tiemeyer at 712-246-9145.

Tiemeyer said other fundraisers are being planned for the Priest Park all-inclusive park playground and to watch the Shenandoah Park and Recreation Facebook page for announcements.

“We are looking at a dodgeball tournament, basketball tournament, outdoor three-on-three basketball tournament at Priest Park, Nerf gun weekend at the old armory and disk golf tournament for fundraisers,” said Tiemeyer.

Tiemeyer said an account had been set up through the Greater Shenandoah Foundation for anyone who would like to donate toward the Priest Park all-inclusive park playground. Donations will qualify for tax incentives.

Donations for the all-inclusive park playground need to be made at Shenandoah City Hall. Checks should be made out to the Greater Shenandoah Foundation and in the memo line write Priest Park Playground.

Tiemeyer said because of the poured rubber and concrete underneath, they have contracted an installation team to complete the project. He said everything has to be exact and it would be a tough project for the city to do themselves. He said they are still planning to have it completed in early summer.

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