CORALVILLE — Despite the layer of fog and rain that hung over eastern Iowa on Sunday, four-and-a-half-year-old Calvin Medea-Kapp hit the green with his dad at the Coralville Public Library to get some practice swings in before golf season.
The pair were playing putt-putt golf as part of the library’s fifth-annual Putt Fore the Library fundraising event. Coralville Library Director Alison Ames Galstad said the library got the idea from another library that held a similar fundraiser following Hurricane Katrina.
The fundraiser was so successful, the library began marketing it to other libraries as a fundraising idea, and other libraries on the east coast began holding putt-putt fundraisers. Shortly after it gained popularity, organizers at the Coralville library got in touch and started holding their own event.
After 6 hours of preparation and a total of roughly 35 volunteers, Ames Galstad said the library was transformed into a miniature golf course. The event had 16 local business sponsors — each of which sponsored a hole which was decorated either by the business or library volunteers. While some holes were lined out between bookshelves with cardboard, others used props that played into what kind of business they were or used decorations that were suitable toward children.
“The businesses have been really supportive, they stup up and sponsor holes and this year we’ve had a couple really enthusiastic new sponsors which has been fun,” Ames Galstad said.
While some holes were decorated with small plastic animals, others featured rubber feet and toys for children to play with along the course. Ames Galstad said the event generally brings in about 400 people every year and all funds raised go to the Coralville Library Foundation. The funds are typically directed back to the library when those with the library have special requests for materials that fall outside the library’s regular budget, she said.
“This really helps us toward when we have immediate needs that the foundation supports,” Ames Galstad said. By 1 p.m., 65 people had stopped by the event to golf. The event was $5 per person, and free for children under the age of five.
A miniature blue club in hand, Medea-Kapp swung and hit a little blue ball down a long line of bookshelves toward a hole sponsored by ACT.
“I’m really good at golf,” he said, grinning. “I got practice. This is really fun.”
Medea-Kapp said his favorite course was one sponsored by a podiatrist, which featured several rubber feet.
“We’re definitely really enjoying this,” said Joe Kapp, Calvin’s dad. “We’re just starting to get into golf weather so it’s nice to kind of wet our whistle on this a little bit.”
Overall, Ames Galstad said families frequently ask when they will have the event again.
“Invariably, after it’s all over we get comments and people asking the next time we do this,” Ames Galstad said. “Or the kids will say – ‘do you do this every Sunday?’”