Thursday, July 19, 2012


Nick Christians
July 14, 2012

The following is a post by John Newton, CGCS of Veenker Memorial Golf Course in Ames.  It concerns a scholarship in the name of one of his former employees who is deceased.  Derek was one of the turf students and worked at Veenker.

(From John Newton)

Thanks to the Harmon family in developing this special scholarship.   Tess Balsley (Clubhouse manager at Veenker Memorial  Golf Course) needs to be recognized for all the efforts she has put in to raise the funds for this scholarship.  Organizing promoting the Tournament with Derek’s Fraternity, Friends, tip jar for Derek and the Turf industry (especially John Ausen for supplying an annual golf club donation).  We have this year raised enough funds to endow the scholarship.  An endowed scholarship is a minimum of $25,000.00.   Thanks to all who have and continued to support this Scholarship.
The students that receive the first winners of the Derek Harmon scholarship represent the hardworking Iowa State University student.  Hard working students that are developing into young turf professionals.  The many ways they develop the skills required in the turf industry are to be good students, internships and working at Iowa State University.  (One of the things Derek was always talking about is the great experience’s he had with his internships at (Veenker, Pinehurst, Vail Colorado)
The Horticulture Turfgrass Program at Iowa State is one of the Nation’s leading Turf grass Programs.  One of the signs that tell how gifted the Iowa State Student and staff is the dominance Iowa State has had in the annual Turf Bowl competitions.  Although there is numerous good turf schools that compete in this annual event Iowa State  dominants the Turf Bowl Competition.   

Now for the winners
Kirk Hudson received a $1,000.00 scholarship, Kirk has worked at Veenker the past two school years and has done an internship at Copper Creek and is currently working at Wakonda in Des Moines.
Joel Reiker  receives a $250.00 scholarship, Joel is currently working at Iowa State Athletics in the Athletic Turf side of the industry.  Joel is doing what was part of a special project at Veenker.  A Iowa State logo painting.
Congratulations to both of these gentleman and thanks to all who have helped in donations and materials for this scholarship.

1 comment:

Ryan Madden said...

Nice post John. It still saddens me greatly that Derek is no longer with us. It is hard to believe that it has been three years. This is a great way to remember his undying work ethic, his constant smile, his sense of humor, and his professional demeanor. He would be proud.