Now 14 years running, the Trent Miner Memorial Tournament can say it's spanned generations as participants flocked to the Perry Golf and Country Club on Sunday, Aug. 11 despite heavy rain in the forecast.
Trent's mother Joelle Miner said there have been more and more of Trent's friends bringing their kids to the event each year.
On hand for the first time was Trent's friend Zach Mundy with his son Deacon to support the cause.
She said, “Having his good friends come golf with their kids [is special],” adding that overall, the support at the event is stronger than ever.
“The numbers have been up,” Joelle said. “Every year it's pretty much a full tournament. And this year, we've got probably close to 20 kids playing in the first round and then in the afternoon, anywhere between 80 to 90 golfers on nine holes. That's a lot of people on the course.”
The day is split between two groups. In the morning, kids under 12 and their families participate in a round on the links. The afternoon brings even more pairs on the green for a friendly competition along with side contests including longest drive and longest put.
First started as a fundraiser for the Miner family as son Trent Miner battled cancer as a freshman at the University of Iowa, friends of Trent are bringing their own kids to Perry for the annual event the Miners have continued for over a decade now.
Since the first year, the fundraiser has brought in over $50,000 in scholarships to local students and even more given to a range of organizations. Joelle said that none of that would be possible without the generosity from the community that continues to support the family's cause.
While the tournament provides financial support for local students and Make-A-Wish among other foundations, Joelle said there is also a social aspect to the event she appreciates that honors her son who she said “never knew a stranger.”
She recounted memories of times when Trent and friends in high school would go out after school and play with seniors that were alone on the course even if they didn't know them that well.
“I love that camaraderie that happens with golf,” Joelle said, adding she hopes experiences like Sunday will encourage more generations to connect in a similar manner, continuing to play the sport Trent loved.
Trent's name and experience have become synonymous with the event and golf in the area in general, but there is more to his story than a game.
“He was great with throwing an arm around the shoulder,” Joelle said. “I think because of what he went through, he didn't want to be defined by what he had going on. He just wanted to be a regular kid and thank goodness he went through surgery and radiation while still being in school, staying in sports and then getting to go to college for a semester was awesome for him. He didn't want people to know anything about it. He just wanted to be a regular kid.”