But some of you may recall the Off Shore Master's Golf Tournament that used to be held ON the Lake itself. That event got its start around 1987 during a snow storm!
Kirby Hoyt and Curt Moye (who both ran downtown businesses at the time) were having an afternoon soda at the Gasthaus and talking about the upcoming Winter Games at the University of Okoboji. They liked the idea of the clever "spoof" about the winter festival at a non-existant university. They decided that Cherokee needed to start something of its' own to help pass the time on a cold winter's day.
They then went home and donned their shorts and t-shirts (mind you, it is snowing like crazy!) and contacted Daily Times editor Paul Struck to meet them at Spring Lake Park for a photo of them practicing their swing.
So, here they were dressed for summer in the middle of a snowstorm that ultimately closed most businesses that day. Struck embraced the idea and weathered the storm for the photos. It was a bit cold after awhile, so Hoyt and Moye went back to the Gasthaus to warm up with a bit of their favorite Peppermint flavored drink and the hard-working newspaper guy went back to work.
This group of guys consisted of Kirby, Curt, Joe Peterson, Duane Mummert, Dan Reinholdt and probably some others. These guys were all members of the local Cherokee Jaycee Club.
They not only started the Offshore Masters Golf Tournament, but also had the cardboard boat races on the 4th of July, had concerts in the park to raise funds for the Kid Around Playground, and held a 2-day event called Yacht Club Days with water events and games for all ages.
When the original Yacht Club was completed, these guys had an opening ceremony with the then-mayor Chuck Westphal christening the event. Moye bought the old wooden Yacht Club sign (the anchor that hangs by the front door of the club house) for $500 at a fund-raising event.
The Jaycee's came up with the name of the Yacht Club, again using the "spoof" idea. They had "honorary Yacht Club crew members" and issued "sailing permits." They really worked hard to make it a fun place.
Accompanying this article is a photo of one of the permit cards and a certificate that was issued to Ed and Alice Mallory, who were big fans and supporters of the group that broke for 5-cent coffee at Mallory's Drug Store several times a day.
The certificate now hangs proudly in the home of their son Mick Mallory, who also is a big supporter of the new proposed Yacht Club and happens to also serve on the City Council.
There no longer is a Jaycee's organization in Cherokee, but those guys really were the brain-child behind a lot of good things that happened at Spring Lake Park.
After that, the Cherokee Recreation Department directed the annual Off-Shore Masters Golf Tournament for several years before a series of mild winters left open water on the lake each January and forced ultimate cancellation of the tourney.
So, thanks guys and here's to more happy days and happy events at the Park!