Local restaurant raises thousands for not-for-profits

By Mary Rose Williams

January 21, 2013 Updated Jan 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM CDT

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. -- A local restaurant has raised thousands of dollars for local not-for-profit organizations.

Schooners in Peoria Heights has hosted a Golf Outing for over 11 years, each time benefiting a local charity such as St. Jude's Children's Hospital and Easter Seals.

On Monday, the latest total of $12,000 from last August was split between the "Tim Ardis Foundation For Hope" and "Whitney's Walk."

It was the largest outing they've ever had with a record number of sponsors and 162 golfers.

For Schooners Owner Greg Gebhards, it brings him happiness to help these organizations.

"It's been outstanding, it really has," said Gebhards. "People have really come together and most of it is local people. They just do it...it's outstanding."

For the Ardis Foundation, the money is being used to help educate kids with mental health issues.

"Just thank you to Greg Gebhards at Schooners, and all of his volunteers at the outing," said Cindy Ardis Jenkins, spokesperson for the Tim Ardis Foundation. "They are an amazing group and the things that they have done in this community to touch people's lives; I don't think enough people know. And it's really, really an amazing group."

"It's a good role model for businesses out there to understand how important it is," said Mayor Jim Ardis, President of the Tim Ardis Foundation. "When they can do fundraisers like this to help not-for-profits, because people are struggling right now, and every little bit of help we can get is great."

The golf outings have raised over $70,000 total. Gebhards said the thanks goes towards the many sponsors and golfers.

Some of the other recipients of the Schooners golf outings have been the Alzheimers Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Peoria Cancer Center, and the Illinois Burn Camp, among others.

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