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Annual golf tournament goes on as planned with COVID-19 guidelines in place

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Monday was a beautiful day to get outside, and an even better day to raise funds to support a local organization.

It's tough to host a fundraising gathering while keeping distancing in mind, but with some changes The Gift of Life Transplant House 36th annual golf tournament went on as planned.

Careful consideration went into the decision making of whether or not the event should go on this year.

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"This year we did staggered tee times, starting at 9 a.m. going until 1 p.m." said Mary Wilder, Gift of Life Transplant House Executive Director. "We also decided to provide for all the golfers a mask, hand sanitizer, of course then all their wonderful golfer gifts that they get. But we wanted to make sure that they were staying safe and secure during this."

In addition to Rochester Golf and Country Club staff wearing masks while sanitizing golf carts and push carts after every use, organizers added a new feature to the riding carts.

"And then from a golf cart perspective, today we have our Gift of Life event out here, and what we've added is a clear plastic divider so we are allowed to have two players per cart," said CJ Meyer, Rochester Golf and Country Club Head Golf Professional. "Because as opposed to when the guidelines came from the state of Minnesota was only rider per cart."

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Another difference to this year's event, the absence of awards dinner.

"We decided to not hold the awards dinner, and instead we are having a small plated meal that will be served by the staff here and we're limiting the number of people that can be eating at one time," said Wilder.

The new protocols to avoid any COVID-19 infections at Gift of Life are not new, but stricter, and have so far been effective.

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"Our goal when this all started as to stop coronavirus at the door, keep our doors open, and hopefully to employ our staff," said Wilder. "And we've succeed with those objectives."

In all, more than 130 golfers came out to support the organization.

Sarah Gannon

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