Mountain View, Mo. – The Rotary Club of Mountain View was excited to have the first Hole-in-One at the charity golf tournament this past June. The golfer received $5,000 cash for his great shot, but not from the insurance company as planned.
As most tournaments do, the Rotary club purchased insurance for this purpose in this tournament but learned it would not pay the individual the money he earned. In the end, a local business stepped up, making a donation to the Rotary Club after they already paid the $5,000 cash prize to the golfer.
“We purchase insurance for a small portion of the actual cost of the prize,” explained club president Mary Zitter. “It allows for a new golf cart or $5,000 to the first person who makes a hole-in-one on any of the Par 3 holes at the Mountain View Golf Course during the tournament. This was the first time in 11 years we have had a winner,” she added.
When it was time to complete the paperwork and claim the prize, the company started dragging its feet. The club and the golfer completed the numerous, lengthy forms and returned them to the company as required. “It seemed like each time, there was another form or another reason they weren’t ready to pay,” explained Zitter.
In early September, Zitter went online and did a Google search for the company and the owner and that’s when she learned the bad news. He had charges pending in four states and had actually been arrested in Washington for insurance fraud. “My heart sank, realizing we weren’t going to get the insurance money to pay our hole-in-one winner,” she said. “I took this issue to the board of directors and the Rotary Club. We had a dilemma we had to solve to the best of our ability.”
The Rotary Club of Mountain View holds its Charity Golf tournament to raise money for community projects that have included sending students to boys and girls state each year, coats for kids projects as well as numerous Christmas projects for those in need.
“Our main goal is Service Above Self and that means to the communities we live and work in,” explained Rotary Member Joe Beltz. “However we also have a four-way test we work to live-up to as Rotary Members. ‘First: Is it the truth? Second: Is it fair to all concerned? Third: Will it build good will and better friendships? Fourth: Is it beneficial to all concerned?’ These are the things we ultimately asked ourselves as a club as we discussed the issue,” Beltz added.
The club met and agreed the money was due to the winner and voted to pay from club funds. “This was money generally used for our community projects, but we felt it was our duty to make this right with the golfer who won,” explained Zitter, “and for golfers in our tournaments in the future.”
The club also contacted a local news station to share their story and to help protect anyone else who might become an unknowing victim to this scam. “When the story aired, Davidson Insurance in Mountain View contacted me,” explained Zitter. “The agency expressed apologies to us that something like this happened in the insurance industry and pledged a donation to our club to replace the $5,000 we paid.
“We did not purchase the insurance through Davidson Insurance,” added Zitter, “but they said they hated to see the Rotary Club hurt by an insurance scam of any kind.”
This donation will replenish the funds for the Rotary Club of Mountain View and allow them to continue to work in the community with the many projects and other organizations to serve.
“I’m very thankful that we live in a community where doing the right thing in recognized and supported,” Zitter explained. “The Rotary Club did the right thing by paying the golfer and then Davidson Insurance made a wonderful contribution and supported us through this tough time for our club,” she concluded.
The Rotary Club of Mountain View is one of the more than 34,000 Rotary clubs world-wide and part of the 1.2 million Rotarians around the globe in nearly every country. Rotarians share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self and clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations.