Golf enthusiasts and casual players are invited out for an illuminating evening of night golf beginning at dark May 20 to benefit the Student’s Fund of Hope.

“Night golf is one of our biggest fund raisers,” says Stephanie Long, co-founder of the Student’s Fund of Hope. “We have it in the spring and fall and it is a consistent income source for us. Now that we’ve done it several years in a row we’ve got it down to a science, I think, which makes it a fairly easy fundraiser for us and also one that has huge impacts as far as income for us to meet the needs of our community.”

This year, the hope is to get more business sponsors for the event, Long says.

“We rely a lot on individuals in the community and our golf outings are an opportunity to reach out to businesses to get their sponsorship,” Long says. “They can put signs out or sponsor different games we may have during the event, like closest to the pin or longest put.”

There will be 13 teams this year with four players each as needed, says Whitney Budd, co-founder of the Student’s Fund of Hope.

“It’s like a shotgun start at dusk,” Budd says. “It normally starts around 8 p.m. with registration beginning at 7:30 p.m.”

Budd says the event generally raises a few thousand dollars each time it’s offered, and though it would be great to raise a little more this year, the goal is to have another successful year of night golf and, in the end, to give back to the kids.

“This is always a huge event for us because it is toward the end of the school year and, normally, with these funds is what we gift back to the school,” Budd says. “We try to do something special for each school at the end of the year and gift them something.”

There are multiple levels of sponsorship for area businesses who would like to get involved, Budd says. The levels start at $100 and go all the way up to $300 and that money goes directly to the fund, which then places the business’ logo on event t-shirts and around the course, she adds.

However, the window of opportunity is quickly narrowing, Budd cautions.

“We need to hear from them fairly soon so we can get their logo on the t-shirt,” she says. “They can contact us via our Facebook page or get on our web site and request a sponsorship form there.”

Setting up for an event like this takes a bit of time, Budd says. Of course, when there are more than 2,000 LED stakes and more than one dozen LED flags that need to be placed its understandable. Don’t forget all the LED golf balls that also have to be checked to make sure they are ready to rock and glow.

And, as in previous years, there will be beer stations set up throughout the course with snack foods, Budd says. All of which is also illuminated with LED lights.

I always just love when it is people’s first times coming out because, a lot of times, you get people who have never played night golf and they just think it is so cool,” Budd says. “I love the returning golfers, but the new ones are my favorite because they are always so wowed by the course and think it is crazy.”

Long describes the evening as a very different experience that, if you’ve not attended before, is difficult to imagine. However, she says those who have concern about the potential of losing their ball need not worry.

“In the daytime I am a terrible golfer I hit the ball and have no idea where it goes,” she says. “At night golf when you hit the ball, because it is glowing, you know exactly where it goes and there is no guess work.”

For more information about Night Golf or to register a team, contact Whitney Budd at whitneybudd@gmail.com or visit StudentsFundOfHope.org.