Hononegah H.O.P.E. Foundation “Touch of Caddyshack” - great fun for a worthy cause


Rockton Village President John Peterson, Sheryl Peterson, Beth Rife, Pat Hoey, Lydia Peterson and Dean Manesiotis dressed to impress at the 2023 Touch of Caddyshack event held on Saturday, April 1. Rodney Dangerfield (R) appeared in two-dimensional form.

Great fun was par for the course at Hononegah Community High School's H.O.P.E. Foundation golf-themed fundraising dinner, Saturday evening, April 1, 2023 at the Rockton American Center  (American Legion).

Everywhere one looked, guests were wearing golf fashions similar to what was worn in the 1980's comedy “Caddyshack,” which was the event's theme. Outfits ranged from a dress with gophers to formal wear to matching colored ensembles -some were custom made.

Andy Gannon of WIFR TV dressed the part perfectly as the master of ceremonies, as he kept the evening's action moving flawlessly.

Joe Locke, “The Jock that Rocks” played music from different genres throughout the evening.

H.O.P.E. Foundation Vice President Tom Polaski opened by thanking the community for their support. “We have alumni of different decades, which is outstanding, “Polaski said. He also extended special appreciation to all teachers.

Mr. Polaski asked that all of the Foundation members stand to be recognized. Serving on the H.O.P.E. Foundation is board president Tiffany Warren, vice president Tom Polaski, treasurer Brian Barnhardt, secretary Nicola Weldon, and trustees Cathy Bellich, Ray Ferguson, Chuck Gilbert, Nic Haab, Patrick Hoey, Nicole Johnson, Nick Kloser, and Hannah Schoenberg.

Polaski announced the foundation's first ever Volunteer Award winner, Kelly Rosik. “Kelly is a colleague and a good friend,” Polaski said.

Rosik has been an event coordinator for the H.O.P.E. Foundation events for 10 years, working alongside Diane Eymann.

The evening started with cocktails. Nicola Weldon gave an invocation prior to a buffet filled with various choices. Lively conversation and lots of laughter were heard all evening.

Guests had extra fun as they were able to purchase and take home the stuffed gophers and golf accessories which adorned the table.

More fun came in the form of a silent auction complete with a golf cart to be bid on. Cash prizes in different amounts were drawn at random from purchased tickets. One fifty-fifty raffle brought in $740.

Near the end of the event, four $500 winners and one $2,000 winner were announced. Before saying the Grand Prize winner's name, Gannon said, “It's in the hole.” Marc and Jamie Kuney emerged the big winners of the night. Linda Schuller won the custom-made ring generously donated by the Gem Shop & Diamond Source.

This year's ring was handcrafted by Gem Shop manager Shelly Schweigart and her staff. The ring is made of 14K white gold with a 7 mm round AA Akoya pearl and 0.20 ct., tw Round SII-G-H quality diamond accents. This piece has a retail value of $1,700. Money raised from ring ticket sales go into a scholarship in memory of Jan Modersohn. She was the Rockton Village clerk from 1991 until 2009 and was a true advocate of area youth.

This year marks the 21st H.O.P.E. Foundation fundraiser. The H.O.P.E. Foundation first came into being in 1997 under the direction of then Superintendent Ralph Marshall. 

Just some of the ways the H.O.P.E. Foundation has supported community and educational needs: 

  • a heritage mural 
  • tutorial programs
  • annual teacher grants totalling more than $70,000 in the past 10 years
  • scholarships
  • two AEDs for the athletic department
  • retractable batting cages
  • a 2014 renovation feasibility study
  • graphic calculators for the math department
  • laptops for the physics department
  • a new video scoreboard for the field house
  • digital training for the Physical Education department
  • new trophy cases
  • power tools for the wood shop and construction lab
  • $25,000 towards new digital scoreboards
  • the purchase of a 40 acre tract of land for future use

During HCHS's 2022 100th year celebration and Homecoming the H.O.P.E. Foundation helped to reunite alumni at a “Feast on the Field” tailgate party. This year on Friday evening, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. they are bringing this event back! Tickets will be available this summer on the hononegahhope.org page. Another future event coming this summer is set to recognize donors and sponsors who support goals of the foundation.

Red Barn Golf Course is also a venue ready to welcome guests who support the foundation. Call for more details at 815-871-0599.

Numerous sponsors and volunteers helped to assure that the 2023 “Touch of Caddyshack” was on par in producing great fun for a worthy cause.

A large group of friends had a blast at the Touch of Caddyshack event
Sherri Tietz, Jeff Tietz, Michael Chiodini, Hanna Chiodini, Karmen Chiodini, Tony Chiodini and Chad Smith came out in support of the H.O.P.E Foundation and its great work.
Diane and Wayne Weiser met up with the "Beverage Cart Girls" Joni Meichtry and Jackie Anderson.
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