Ever heard of a Love Offering?
If you haven’t, then you are unfamiliar with the 18 Fore Life charity and the incredible work they have done raising money for families affected by cancer.
Consider your unfamiliarity about to change.
Who would have thought that a grassroots charity based in rural Missouri would become a philanthropic marvel? But that’s exactly what happened. 18-Fore Life has now raised almost $3.75 million for families affected by cancer, and they’ve done it with big hearts, diligent devotion and a drive to have a good time.
As the pun reveals itself… the charity is best known for their annual golf event, the aptly named Ben Kruse 18 Fore Life Golf Event, and, of course, their “Love Offerings”.
Love Offerings are what founder Scott Kruse calls the charitable earnings that 18 Fore Life sends to families in need, along with a note of “hope, love and encouragement”. They’ve been the driving force behind the charity and the growing army of volunteers that work tirelessly to make a difference.
Scott started the foundation in 2000 with his brother Ben and their friends Jake Barge and Kip Musgrave in the small town of Dexter, MO. What started out as a simple golf tournament to raise money for the V Foundation (the national charity in honor of legendary Coach Jim Valvano), quickly blossomed into so much more.
After the rousing success of the tournament, Scott and his crew realized they could use this as an opportunity to not only support the V Foundation, but to give locally as well. The V Foundation still receives a generous donation from 18 Fore Life every year, but the majority of the burgeoning charity’s donations have since been directly distributed locally or to people in need involved with the cause.
The amount in donations every year, from not only the golf event, but from other 18 Fore Life events as well, continues to grow. Which just means that more and more suffering families get some much-needed relief and kindness each year.
Scott says the idea for the charity was straightforward. “We simply wanted to do something good and have a fun time doing it, bringing people together for a common cause. We literally wanted a party, and to know that we helped raise money for a worthy cause.”
That “fun” idea has now been helping thousands for 22 years and sending nearly $4 million to people affected by cancer. And the events are just that. Fun.
The golf tournament in particular, which is named for Scott’s brother, Ben, who passed away suddenly in 2004. It is as much a good time as it is a gift to so many, and those who knew him well, know that Ben would be proud of the party that continues to rage on while helping others in his memory.
“The golf event in June is somewhat of a homecoming, as we have had people from as many as 21 states come to a single event,” stated Scott. “It’s the largest one day, one course event I have ever found! Featuring 88 four-person teams (34 in the AM, 54 in the PM) and a real blast!”
On a more somber note, one most people can relate to in one way or another, he said, “Everyone knows someone who has battled cancer, and in our community, it is easy to say that you know someone FROM our community who has battled cancer… and that 18 FORE Life helped out with a Love Offering.”
The beauty of 18 Fore Life is in its simplicity and its generosity. It’s not a business. There is no overhead. No salaries. Just giving.
Every dollar goes to someone in need, and the foundation is fueled by people willing to donate not just their resources or means, but their time.
And the charity reaches much farther than rural Missouri. According to Scott they define an “area family” as anyone with a connection to the cause, so there are people all over the country benefitting from this sensational level of generosity.
But 18 Fore Life has bloomed into so much more than just the golf tournament, as they seem to have no short of creative ways to bring people together with laughter, competition and giving.
In addition to the Ben Kruse 18 For Life Golf Event on June 3rd 2023, there is the Ben Kruse Crappie Tournament, Claus for a Cause, Hits for Hope and several others. Everyone in the community is on board as well. Local businesses will donate a percentage of their profits, schools are involved and (if your heart hasn’t already melted, because it will now) kids regularly set up lemonade stands and homemade craft sales, donating their earnings to the charity.
It’s really grown into a community taking on a loving task against a horrible disease.
Everyone loves having fun. But to have fun and help people in need all over the country at the same time, well, that’s something special.
To find out more about 18 Fore Life and details on all of their events, or to make a donation, visit 18forelife.com.
Ameritime, Resource One and Ameritime Sports are honored to have a connection with Scott and all the fine work he and his army of volunteers continue to impress us with every day.