Local golfers build hope in Congo
Golfers in western Wisconsin are having a significant impact on the lives of orphans in Africa.
Troy and Heather Boe of New Richmond have formed a non-profit foundation called "Be Their Hope" with a goal of making the lives of orphans and young mothers better in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The main fundraiser for the new foundation is an annual "Golf For Congo" event in June at the New Richmond Golf Course. This year's gathering is Monday, June 17, at 1 p.m.
According to Heather, the Boe family has forever been linked to Congo after adopting their son Joseph from an orphanage there in 2010.
"We were able to adopt Joseph, but there are so many kids that are left behind," she said. "We obviously couldn't bring every kid home with us, but we wanted to make a difference in their lives."
The Boes have worked to raise funds to benefit humanitarian efforts in the Congo since 2010. Their first golf outing in 2011 raised money for computer connections at the orphanage where Joseph once lived.
Last year, after setting up the new foundation, the bulk of the money raised went to build a simple, four-room school building in Kinshasa, Congo.
This year, Heather said, money raised will help purchase chairs and desks, as well as supplies, for the new school, which educates 150 students.
"They don't have public education in Congo, so it's badly needed," she explained. "Education is their only ticket to have some success in their lives. And then maybe they can do some good for their country ... that would be the best outcome."
Some of the funds raised this year will also assist a maternity clinic that provides much needed prenatal and post-birth services to women.
Having a foundation of their own allows the Boes to pick and choose what efforts in Congo to support. Heather said the couple works with a woman who travels to Congo regularly to determine what are the greatest needs in the areas around Kinshasa.
The contacts the Boes have made in Congo also helps them keep track of how the money raised is being spent. They also get pictures of the progress being made on various projects.
For more information about "Be Their Hope," visit www.betheirhope.weebly.com.
Heather said the Boe family is very appreciative of all the support they've received from friends, family and businesses over the past few years as they try to have an impact on the Congolese people. More than $18,000 has been raised so far for various projects.
"And this year we hope to be even bigger and better," she said. "We're very thankful for the outpouring of support."
"Golf for Congo" is a scramble event that includes a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Four-person teams will compete for prizes and bragging rights. Participants are charged $100 per person, or $75 if they are a New Richmond Golf Club member. It includes golf, dinner and the silent auction.
For those who don't golf, a $25 ticket provides them dinner and access to the evening silent auction.
The Boes have four kids, including Lexi, Charlie, Frankie and Joseph.