Despite raindrops saturating the greens early at Old Orchard Country Club in Mount Prospect, golfers teed off Thursday morning for a Des Plaines business organization's annual outing.
Golfers of varying skill levels braved the weather to participate in the benefit for the Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce and Industry's programs and activities. The Des Plaines Office Equipment, Solutions Networking and US Bank were among the local sponsors.
"It's benefiting the Chamber [of Commerce], and I just think it's going to be a lot of fun," said Andrea Friedman, the group's program director.
But not all in attendance were swinging 5-irons in their best looking argyle socks. A few Chamber committee members sat behind the registration table to help sign in golfers as well as to hand out meal and raffle tickets to members, employees and local residents who turned out.
"This event is sponsored by a few different local businesses," Barbara Ryan, executive director of the Chamber, said as golfers lined up at the table to play either singles or in teams of four.
Participants hoped their golf games were up to par. Bragging rights and prizes were at stake in such contests as the longest drive, straightest drive, closest to the pin and beat the pro.
The proceeds helped the business organization with its Chamber Education Foundation, which was started to generate funds for student scholarships, business and education sponsorships, and community support.
Roger Hull, owner of AlphaGraphics and a former president of the Chamber, was all smiles behind the registration table, giving each passing player a golf gift bag.
"I've been a part of the Chamber for 20 years as a president and board member. They had to kick me off at some point," he said. "I'm kidding but I just enjoy events like these."
The golfers appeared quite carefree too–while practicing anyhow. After hitting a few practice balls on the driving range, one golfer joked to a reporter that photos of his swings could be used as blackmail.
Event photographer Dan Gilchrist was delighted with the turnout. "This is a great group of people and I'm happy to be a part of the committee. I've been a part the Chamber for five years now. Events like these are about the community." said the Costco employee and owner of Forbes Systems.