Bill Downs Jr. legacy lives on with CASDA golf tournamentThe following is another “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by award-winning Don Leighton and Mike Granlund and their alter egos, Lance Boyle and Billy Pirkola, which runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram.
By: By Don Leighton, For The Telegram, Superior Telegram
It is the rare individual who has influence over others and whose life has meaning that still carries the weight it did before their passing. I am sure without argument that all will agree that Bill Downs, Jr. was a great and compassionate person while he was alive and that he is still a positive force in our community even after his death on January 11, 2009.
The life, legacy, and legend of Bill Down Jr. continues Friday on the magical links of the Nemadji Golf Course. The Bill Downs Jr. Memorial Golf Scramble to benefit CASDA (Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse) will be held with registration beginning at 11 a.m. and a shotgun start at noon.
There are various forms of team sponsorships and hole sponsorships available along with the entry fee of $40 per person. This includes dinner, prizes, team awards and a team picture. Special events include team skins game, team mulligans, 50/50 drawing and tee raffle board.
Green fees and carts may be purchased from the pro shop for this five-person affair.
Proceeds from this event will allow CASDA to continue providing services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
CASDA was incorporated in 1988 and since then has helped thousands of victims put their lives back together. The CASDA Vision Statement says it all: “CASDA is a model organization that empowers communities and individuals who have survived the effects of violence through the provisions of quality programming, advocacy and education.”
Erika Leif is the assistant director of CASDA. She reveals some sobering facts about their service.
“Since 2005 CASDA has answered more than 10,000 calls via the helpline and has served more than 2,900 victims and survivors of abuse. More than 1,000 women and children have needed emergency shelter and over 77,000 meals and snacks have been provided. CASDA is a non-profit agency that provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse while advocating for a community effort to end violence.”
The Emergency Shelter Program, Domestic Abuse Program, Sexual Assault Program, Children’s Program, Legal Program, Volunteer Program, Bayfield County Outreach, Public Education Program, Immediate Response Program, Domestic Abuse Reduction Team, and Training/Continued Education are all services provided by this incredible, and unfortunately necessary, agency.
One of Downs’ best friends, Deb Krieg, remembers Bill and what he was about.
“Bill and his beautiful wife, Jeanne, always had their fingers on the pulse of our community, and they never, ever, skipped a beat when it came to helping others,” Krieg said. “This tournament at Nemadji that rightfully bears Bill’s name brings to mind and to the forefront the fact that CASDA is busy relocating and rebuilding lives and its accommodations and they need our help. In Bill Downs Jr.’s mind it, like it should be in each and every one of ours, one human being that is hurt is just one too many.”
Bill Down III remembers his father in this way. “My dad was someone who helped others his entire life and needed no publicity. He never turned down a request for help from anybody. He was just a great person and father. I am honored to start the CASDA tournament in his name as a way of honoring his memory and his continuing efforts to help those in our community.”
Nemadji Golf Course Professional Mark Carlson said Downs Jr. made a difference in people’s lives. “I think that is a true measure of a person,” Carlson said. “He was instrumental in helping raise more than $100,000 for improvements at Nemadji and was always an active leader in the golf course. His son was part of that fundraising at the course and I think it is great his family wants to carry on the tradition to help other people by helping a non-profit like CASDA which is a life-saving service to many in our community.”
For more information, contact Erika Leif at 715-392-3136 or Bill Downs III at 218-348-5447.
NOTE: CASDA will soon relocate from Hawkes Hall to the former East End Clinic.
The “Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” column by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund runs occasionally in The Superior Telegram. Opinions and/or story ideas can be e-mailed to email@example.com.