Dave Philp of Waconia believes that the giving-back gene can be found in all of us. We all have an interest in helping someone less fortunate. “If we all make a little bit of a difference, it will make a big difference,” he says.
So in 1985, he joined the efforts of the Ridgeview Foundation and together they started the Golf & Taste Celebration. That first year, the fundraiser pulled in $13,000 for the Ridgeview Imaging Services mammography fund.
Now in his 29th year as chairperson, Philp, a local realtor, and the tournament continue to make large fundraising strides for Ridgeview. Last year the event raised a record-breaking $1.1 million for the “Innovation for Generations: 1963 Edition Renovation” program. Philp’s long history with the event has led to its credibility, says Ridgeview Foundation executive director Doug Stasek.
Throughout the years, the Golf & Taste Celebration has evolved into a daylong event that includes a bridge tournament, Bunco, raffle, silent and live auctions, a dinner and morning and afternoon golf. It also includes the Taste of Ridgeview, a pre-dinner hour featuring appetizers from 20 local restaurants.
Since the first tournament, the event has raised nearly $6.8 million for different Ridgeview programs, including the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Ridgeview Heart Center and the Marie Steiner Kelting Hospice Home. This year, all proceeds will go toward the Center’s “Every Moment Counts” campaign, an initiative dedicated to sustaining high quality care.
In addition to raising money, the event is designed to be a “friendraiser” or an opportunity for Ridgeview to build relationships in the community, says volunteer Steve Yetzer, who joined the event committee 25 years ago.
Yetzer believes Philp’s involvement has helped with both the friends and the funds. “Ridgeview helps the whole southwest metro be a better place to live,” Yetzer says. “Dave understands that and wants to help and wants to do what’s right. He’s quite an impressive man.”
Philp’s desire to give back was ingrained long before he partnered with Ridgeview. He saw it in his childhood and grew up knowing the importance of health care, as his dad was the doctor in Watertown, Minn. “What I saw in my dad, having available medical care added to the fabric of the whole area… He was the small town doctor and he raised a community,” Philp says.
He moved on to Saint John’s University in Collegeville where nearly every student and faculty member volunteered [for something]. It was expected, for it is a big component of the college’s Benedictine values. “All of my experiences at Saint John’s, what everybody does there, they give back,” Philp says.
Not only did Philp, a 1977 graduate, practice this during his four years, he also met his future wife. Peggy, a recently retired teacher, and Philp are parents to 32-year-old David, 29-year-old Daniel and 26-year-old Anna. All three children volunteer at the golf tournament each June.
Throughout the years, this spark for volunteerism has remained, and Philp has tackled more projects. He recently celebrated his 20th year as coordinator for a basketball tournament fundraiser for St. Joseph Church and is the chairperson for the Minneapolis Board of Realtors Foundation. Philp simply says he has always wanted to help others. “That’s what we’re all here for,” he says, “to make this place a bit better than it was before.”
The Ridgeview Foundation Golf & Taste Celebration is June 23 at Island View Golf Club (7795 Laketown Parkway, Waconia).
Tickets are $40 for the Taste Celebration.
Visit ridgeviewmedical.org or call 952.442.6010 for details.