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Annual alumni golf classic in Nebraska benefits Bethel

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HENDERSON, NEB. – Forty-six golfers participated in the 16th annual Summer Thresher Golf Classic Saturday, August 8, at Galaway Creek Golf Course in Henderson. The 18-hole, four-person scramble tournament benefited Bethel College.

At 12 under par with a score of 56, the first-place team consisted of Gary Steingard, Henderson, and Atlee Preheim, Dave Penner and Randy Stauffer, all of Hesston.

Three teams scored 11 under par. As the result of a tie breaker, second place went to Phil Schmidt, Grant Schmidt and Terry Bergen of Henderson and Aaron Smith, Wichita. The team of Grant Hiebner, Hampton, Neb., Abram Rodenberg and Dale Dick, Halstead, and Bethel golf coach and controller Gregg Dick, North Newton, took third.

Also at 11 under par were Brian Hiebner, Henderson, Michael Hiebner, Lincoln, Lauren Hiebner, Omaha, and Andrey Hiebner, Kansas City, Kan. Ties were broken by counting the total number of birdies or eagles for the round, with birdies 1 point and eagles 3 points. The winner of a continuing tie was determined by comparing scores, beginning with the number 1 handicap hole.

There were also four hole prizes awarded. Penner’s drive on Hole 4 was closest to the pin. Spencer Friesen, Henderson, hit the longest drive on Hole 3. Darrol Gross and Andrew Regier, both of Henderson, had longest putts on Holes 6 and 9, respectively.

Two Bethel golf team members treated players to courtesy drives on Holes 2 and 8: Zach Frey, junior from Goessel, and John Reimer, sophomore from Hesston.

Members of the 12 teams who competed plus additional alumni, their family members and friends of the college from Bethesda Mennonite Church, Henderson, gathered for a barbecue lunch following the morning tournament. Alumni and other church members donated the food for the meal. Eighty-six people attended.

Financial contributions received from the tournament as well as the noon barbecue went to Bethel College through its Alumni Association. Dave Linscheid, director of alumni relations, also represented the college at the event.

Three members of a Golf Committee of the college’s Alumni Council hosted or participated in the classic: Rick Krehbiel, Moundridge, and Joel Gaeddert and Kent Erb, both of Newton. The committee plans two tournaments annually, the next in Hesston, Sept. 19.

“Threshers” refers to Mennonite wheat farmers who helped found the college in 1887. Today it is the name given the college athletic teams and an identifier for alumni.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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