Poland Rotary Chili Open Takes Place Feb. 8

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Golf in the snow? Say what? Hearing “Fore!” in northeast Ohio in the winter months is unusual. But not for this group. Since 1987, Poland Rotary and The Chili Open have raised over $1.20 million for local charities.

In 1985, spawned from a visit to Akron, the late Nelson “Gus” Gustafson returned with a crazy idea. The Akron Society for the Blind was hosting a winter fundraising event –The Chili Open – and Gus wanted to bring it home to Poland.

As Larry Warren, a charter member of Poland Rotary along with Gus, remembers it, “We all knew Gus was a little silly. And this idea of his seemed pretty farfetched. Yet, the club embraced it anyway. Gus had the vision and we followed. Now, more than 30 years later, look at where we are. It’s amazing!”

The modern-day Chili Open draws crowds from across the region. The USGA sanctioned event takes place at Bedford Trails Golf Course in Lowellville.

A heated club house and tents provide a comfortable alternative to the winter elements. Music, games, chili eating contests and other festive events are on display throughout the day.

New this year is the polar plunge during which donors will line up to jump in the pond to help raise money for local charities.

The Chili Open takes place Saturday, Feb. 8 with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. The required donation is $25, which includes food, 18 holes of golf, beverages and prizes.

For registration details, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.