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TEAM Foundation golf tournament raises $95,000 for local charities

TEAM Industries was started in Cambridge, Minn., in 1967 by Don and Bea Ricke, who had a dream of bringing jobs to rural Minnesota. Forty-three years later, TEAM Industries is still bringing jobs to rural locations in its five facilities in Minnesota and one in Andrews, N.C.

The company was also founded with the idea of giving a percentage of its earnings to charity and to the communities where TEAM Industries facilities are located. The main focus has been to increase the quality of life for children and for seniors, the two areas that Don and Bea believed needed the most support.

Twelve years ago, the TEAM Foundation hosted its first charity golf tournament to help raise funds for their various charities. This year, 220 golfers converged at the Lakeside Golf Course in Perham, Minn., July 29 to participate in the annual TEAM Industries Golf Tournament.

After registering for the event and having brunch, the golfers split into their respective foursomes and took to the links for an afternoon of competition, camaraderie and fun for a charitable cause. A first for the annual fundraiser was an Appreciation Sponsor Bash the night before the tournament. Suppliers or vendors or vendor who sponsored a hole on the course with a donation of $1,000 or more were invited to a dinner and a ceremony in recognition of their charitable contribution and were presented with commemorative plaques.

"We have been really blessed with phenomenal results and I can't put my finger on why," said Debra Matthews, daughter of Bea and the late Don Ricke. "I know that if my father could have been here, he would be running it. I hope we make him proud."

When the golf tournament started in 1999, TEAM Industries raised $7,650 for charity. Since then, the tournament has raised about $760,000. This year's tournament was very successful as TEAM employees, suppliers and vendors raised about $95,000 for the TEAM Foundation.

The annual TEAM Industries Golf Tournament generates, on average, between 30 and 45 percent of the annual yearly revenue for the TEAM Foundation, which was created in 2003 to focus on charitable contributions in the areas of education, health care and community.

Through donations, the Foundation has contributed to hospice, palliative care rooms, pediatric intensive care and children's x-ray machines, established electronic patient records in hospitals and supported Meals on Wheels. The Foundation also has donated to school computer labs in Bagley, Cambridge and Audubon, Minn. The Foundation's Project Lead the Way teaches engineering basics from the elementary school level through high school, which helps students earn college credits toward their degrees.