By Rick Cohler
ACN & Times-Press correspondent
For some, it was the chance to say happy 50th birthday to a lifelong friend, for others it was a chance to get acquainted with Crystal Springs Golf Course on Saturday, June 24 as the course celebrated 50 years to the day since its opening.
Ann Spaude of Seymour was playing with fond memories of her grandfather. “Derb Coonen was one of the first guys to every golf on this golf course,” she said. “I think I was about three or four years old and I remember being here that day because I remember Grandpa Coonen come up on the 18th hole. This is just awesome.”
Dick Ritchie of De Pere was invited by a friend to attend. “I was out here once, but that was many years ago.
Andree and Tim Knorr of Sobieski had some good friends said there was this 50th anniversary, “So it sounded like it would be a good time,” Tim said. Andree said she was looking forward to having a good time and relaxing a bit. “We’re away from our children for the first time in a long time so we’re looking to have some fun and make some memories.”
Eric Swenson, along with current Board President Eric DeBruin were instrumental in navigating Crystal Springs during rough financial seas a decade or so ago. So, for Swenson the 50th anniversary was very special. “I’m thrilled that we’re here, have great weather and a great crowd showing up,” he said. “It was all about keeping this course in the community. I’m happy with what we’ve done in the past and excited for the future. I’m seeing a lot of people I haven’t seen in years.”
For DeBruin, it was a chance to spend some time talking and sharing some laughs with the people he has worked with over the years. “I was able to sit and talk with Bob Eick for a good amount of time reflecting on many things with the course,” DeBruin said. “He has virtually worked out there since it opened keeping all the mechanic needs together. I think the thought that affected me the most was how fast time passes. I’ve been involved with Crystal Springs for about 35 years and thank goodness it’s going to continue to be there. I can also say it was so nice to look at the course in the mindset that it is an extremely beautiful course with so much yet to offer.” Looking ahead, DeBruin said it is important that the programs planned for the youth golf facility move forward.
The 96 golfers who attended the event were treated to good golf, food and entertainment, along with the chance to win $5,000 in a putting contest.