Few fundraising golf tournaments boast the loyalty, longevity and resiliency of the Killebrew-Thompson Memorial (KTM), a cancer research benefit held at Sun Valley Resort since 1977.
This year, faced with the global pandemic, the KTM board of directors decided against holding an in-person, two-day golf tournament at Sun Valley and Elkhorn, opting creatively for a virtual golf tournament instead.
KTM executive director Hannah Stauts said, “A lot of people I’ve talked to don’t know if a golf tournament like ours has been done this way. People ‘golf in place,’ wherever they are in the country.”
Signups for the remote tournament started July 15 and continue through Aug. 15, followed by the Virtual Auction and Awards Gala Aug. 21 as the culminating activity of the 44th annual KTM tournament.
The format is four-person, two best ball. Teams play an 18-hole round at their local golf course and submit their scores via an application called 18Birdies (https:// 18birdies.com/). Tournament handicaps are created, and the team leaderboard is formed.
Visit ktmgolf.com for full tournament format details.
Alongside the main remote tournament is the newly-created Wood River Golf Club contest (play July 15-Aug. 15, registration deadline Aug. 1). KTM is inviting teams from The Valley Club, Trail Creek (Sun Valley) and Elkhorn Golf for the inter-club challenge.
Through Wednesday, KTM is reporting that 75 people have joined up, and 26 teams, plus a social media reach of 35, with $390,200 raised to date and a total of 61 donations.
“We’re hoping for a field of 150 people, and as always we are encouraging new people to join up,” said Stauts.
Contests for awards include the lowest scoring teams (top three), men and women for lowest individual gross and net scores, the May Trucking Company long drive contest and US Bank golden Ball. Mulligans can be purchased.
Those who want to contribute by taking part in the Virtual Auction can access the items starting Monday, Aug. 17 via a link on the ktmgolf.com web site. Anyone, not only remote tourney golfers, can take part in auction bidding.
Longtime KYM booster Chris Berman headlines the Virtual Auction and Awards Gala from his home in Connecticut Friday, Aug. 21. The event itself will be live-streamed from The Argyros in Ketchum. Emcee is Boise newscaster Mark Johnson.
KTM is one of the leading cancer research fundraisers of its kind. KTM proceeds go to St. Luke’s Cancer Institute in Boise and the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Due to the commitment of its supporters, the KTM tournament has raised over $18.4 million to date. Stauts said, “We’re grateful that a lot of our sponsors from last year have stayed with us this year.”