June 19, 2024

Celebs take a swing at charity golf tourney

Inaugural Newton Cares Classic at Westwood raises funds for nonprofits

Newton rolled out the red carpet Thursday for prominent sports figures and Iowa celebrities visiting Westwood Golf Course.

Taking a swing at the inaugural Gregg Young Auto Center of Newton presents Newton Cares Classic powered by Iowa Speedway, folks like former Iowa Hawkeye and NFL wide receiver Tim Dwight, former Iowa State Cyclones defensive end and NFL linebacker Merv Krakau, “Iowa Nice Guy” Scott Siepker and NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers Michael Annett, Cole Custer and Noah Gragson, among others, lent their golfing skills to the charitable event.

Organized by Jessica Lowe Vokes, executive director of United Way of Jasper County, the celebrity golf tournament attracted 16 teams of four to compete in the 18-hole municipal golf course. The goal of the celebrity golf tournament is to benefit many nonprofits, Lowe Vokes said.

Funds raised from the Newton Cares Classic — a one-day event — directly impacts three nonprofit organizations in the area: Iowa Speedway Cares, Friends of Newton Parks and United Way of Jasper County.

“People are playing golf, which is awesome and fun, but what they’re really doing is they’re positively impacting lives in central Iowa,” Lowe Vokes said. “That’s what I really want people to know. This is a fun day, but it’s about really having an impact … It’s just so exciting to see what this will be able to do for our community.”

Altogether, the golf tourney will support roughly 24 nonprofits since both Iowa Speedway Cares and United Way of Jasper County will disperse its funds to other organizations in need of resources. Lowe Vokes said the golfers had been at Iowa Speedway and Westwood Golf Course for most of the day — a cool, beautiful day at that.

“Everybody just seems to be having a great time,” Lowe Vokes said. “All the celebrities, everyone is so approachable and they donated their time. We have NBA champions. We have hockey players. We have hall of famers and folks from the racing world. We really have an amazing lineup of celebrities.”

Several of which have direct Iowa ties. For instance, gridiron football coach and former player Kahlil Carter used to play for the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team. Getting a chance to meet these guests of honor is also a plus for participants.

“Here, people are playing with Tim Dwight from the Iowa Hawkeyes! People are playing with Bobby Hansen, who was on the championship team with the Bulls and wears his championship ring on his finger — he played with Michael Jordan!” Lowe Vokes said. “We have amazing folks here!”

The Newton Cares Classic Committee is comprised of Lowe Vokes, David Hyatt, Craig Armstrong, Brian Laube, Randy Ervin, Desiree Cameron and Brad Sponseller.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com