Library turns into mini golf course to raise funds on cold weekend

Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, March 09, 2015 | 6:16 p.m.


SELINSGROVE, Pennsylvania – The word of the day was "fore," not "quiet" as the Rudy Gelnett Memorial Library in Selinsgrove turned into a multilevel miniature golf course for a cause.

Saturday was day two of "Putting for Pages," 19 holes of indoor golf for an event to raise about $10,000 for the four Snyder County libraries. And for most people – especially the young ones – the $5 per-person admission was worth it for a chance to be loud in the library.

"I love it," said Arthur Stoltzfus, there with his soon-to-be stepbrothers Chevy and Chase Beachel, all from Selinsgrove and all trying to one-up each other, this time on a winding course with a palm tree in the middle.

Mom Geneva Vetter brought them there hoping the boys all would burn off a little cabin fever, she said.

That was a popular reason for attending, said Marsha Lemons, chairwoman of the Snyder County libraries board, which came up with the idea.

"It's neat and unique," and the kids are loving they could be loud in a place they're normally told to be quiet, she said. "After a month of below-freezing temperatures, this is an easy and safe way to get them out since they haven't been able to go outside."

About 100 people had come through in just two hours Saturday; organizers expected a few hundred more before it was over, and about 100 attended the adults-only event Friday night.

Saturday's event was a big hit with the toddler set, little ones poking around with clubs twice their size and giving shrieks of glee as parents helped them along and gave encouragement. Regular library patrons played spectators over newspapers and books as colored golf balls batted off ramps and over makeshift hazards.

Golfers of all ages and sizes were having fun – or hiding their mortification.

Was Ben Reichley of Selinsgrove embarrassing 12-year-old Olivia? "Yes, he is," she said, exasperated. She is a caddy, and "I thought she was supposed to be an asset," her dad said, laughing.

All in good fun, of course, but the event was a great idea, said Reichley who also attended the adults night.

"It's very unique. I give a lot of credit to the committee," he said, especially seeing the fun so many kids were having. "Sometimes it's great to raise your voice and clap your hands in the library."

That's what Chevy Beachel thought. "It's a lot of fun," he said, plus "I'm really good," though at last check, Arthur was beating him.

Russ Bolton, co-owner of Library Mini Golf of Dartmouth, Mass., said their indoor putt-putt golf company has been in business about six years, and they have put on such events all over the country.

"This one is doing very well" for a first-time event, he said of the Gelnett gathering, which is one of about 125 events the company has done. In total, Library Mini Golf has raised about $1.5 million for libraries.

This article was written by Evamarie Socha from The Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.