Kehls Win Iowa PGA Distinguished Service Award
Riverside, Iowa – Bobby and Dan Kehl, founders of the Elite Casino Resorts, were named as the 2019 Iowa PGA Distinguished Service Award honorees by the Iowa PGA Special Awards Committee last week. The Iowa PGA Distinguished Service Award began in 2014 to honor outstanding individuals as well as organizations for their contributions and service to golf and for inspiring others. Recipients are selected for their leadership, integrity, volunteering, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for the game of golf.
"It’s an honor to be recognized by the Iowa PGA. We’ve worked closely with the Iowa Section members at the GIVE Foundation and appreciate their support to veterans throughout the state,” said Bobby Kehl.
The Kehls and Lou King first approached the Iowa PGA in 2005 with two opportunities at Blue Top Ridge. They wanted Blue Top Ridge to become the “Home of the Iowa PGA” and to help start a partnership with the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort, the VA Hospital in Iowa City and the Iowa PGA. The program involved using golf instruction and practice to rehabilitate injured Veterans. The Iowa PGA enthusiastically said, yes!
The Iowa PGA moved its offices to at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in the Fall of 2007. The GIVE program started that same year. Both partnerships have been a win-win for both Kehls and the Iowa PGA. The GIVE program has now grown to two other locations. One at Warrior Run in Norwalk, Iowa and the other at The Falls Golf Course in Larchwood, Iowa. GIVE has helped over 2,000 Veterans since its inception to enjoy life and service through the game of golf.
The Kehls and Riverside Casino and Golf Resort have also brought the Iowa Open to new heights and have committed to host the 86-year-old event through 2022. The Thursday Pro-Am benefits four foundations. Proceeds go towards the USS Battleship Iowa Museum, the University of Iowa Dance Marathon, the GIVE Foundation and the Iowa PGA Foundation.
The GIVE Foundation administers three Pro-Ams and a Culinary Classic that raises funds annually. The GIVE Foundation has served more than 2,000 veterans in the last decade and raised more than $1 million.
“It’s rewarding to see the GIVE Foundation provide a positive experience for our veterans. We didn’t expect the program to grow to three sites, but there’s a need at every Veterans Hospital for this type of program.” said Dan Kehl.
“What made the move so easy was the trust factor between our Membership and the Kehls,” said then Iowa PGA President Ken Schall, “They are golf fans and have played in our Section Pro-Am’s for years. We are thrilled as a Section to have this opportunity to be located at a facility that has so much potential for growing the game.”
The Iowa PGA would like to congratulate Bobby and Dan Kehl for winning this prestigious award. Thank you for being such great partners to the Iowa PGA, its Members and its Associates.