WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Golf fans in Wichita are lining up their tee’s for the Wichita Open. This year, spectators are being welcomed back after the pandemic kept them away in 2020.
The return of fans means more money for local charities. Tournament director Roy Turner said that is the most satisfying part of his job.
“We set a new goal for ourselves this year and that’s a quarter million to raise for the kids in Wichita,” said Turner.
The Wichita Open’s main charitable beneficiary this year is KU Pediatrics, but over 20 youth athletic teams and non-profits will also receive funds.
“One of the nicest parts of my job when I write a check and give it to somebody,” continued Turner.
Russ Wells is the head coach of South High’s football team and about 40 of his student-athletes will volunteer at the tournament.
“Our guys are excited to do it every year,” said Wells.
In return for volunteering their time, the Wichita Open will donate to the Titans team.
“We did not get to do it last year but because of COVID and that was a big hit for us,” said Wells.
The tournament is the team’s biggest fundraiser.
“Enables us to get things like equipment, and practice jerseys and all the stuff that we need,” added Wells.
Turner says a ticket to the open is the hottest in town right now and this will only help raise more money for the community.
“Twenty one years, I’ve never seen an excitement like this before,” added Turner.
Turner said about 50,000 people will attend the Wichita Open, generating an estimated $7 million to the local economy.