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Community-minded spouse honors late husband while supporting cancer services
The Bill Koepke Memorial Golf Outing is a family affair
The second Saturday in June is always a special day for Lois Koepke's family. That's the Saturday reserved for the Bill Koepke Memorial Golf Outing, held each year in memory of Lois's late husband who passed away from cancer in 1986.
Immediately following Bill's death, Lois and her children decided to honor their husband and father by holding a golf outing in his name. "Bill worked as the manager at Utica Golf Club in Oshkosh, so this seemed like a fitting way to remember him. The first outing was held just a few months after he died. Proceeds from the event have always gone toward supporting cancer services," Lois explained.
Lois, with the help of her children, has spent considerable time and effort in organizing the event during the past 24 years. Each year they handle all of the details such as contacting area businesses for sponsorships, requesting prize donations, arranging catering and promoting the event, to ensure it's continued success.
In the past two decades this annual gathering has evolved and currently attracts about 100 golfers. Two of Lois's grandchildren who are golfers now actively recruit new golfers to participate, making this a multi-generational "family affair." The outing has been held at various courses in the Oshkosh area, but returned to its roots the Utica Golf Course last year where Bill Koepke worked and where the outing began.
In recent years Lois decided that the proceeds should go toward supporting cancer services locally, rather than being sent to a national charity. She now splits the funds equally between cancer services at Affinity Health System and Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh.
Lois said, "Many of the people who now attend this golf outing never even knew Bill, but they do know that the event supports a worthwhile cause. Both of the benefiting hospitals have furnished a banner that we display on the course, so golfers are reminded that their participation is helping cancer patients in our own community."
The Aurora Health Foundation is most grateful to Lois Koepke and her family. They are not only keeping alive the memory of dear family member who was lost to cancer more than 20 years ago, but are actively supporting those still fighting this disease today.