Digi International holds an annual team-building golf event and fundraiser, and each year identifies two impactful organizations to receive the event proceeds. In 2020, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, Digi found a way to hold the event by employing multiple safety measures. Through sponsors and gamification, the company raised a record-breaking amount for two community organizations.
What Is the Digi Annual Wormburner Golf Event?
Held annually at the Crystal Lake Golf Course in Lakeville, Minnesota, the Wormburner golf event brings together Digi employees, partners and sponsors for a day on the green. Many volunteers work to put on the event – coordinating the sponsors and organizing all the details of the day, such as the initial fundraising leading up to the event, food and beverages, and contests at several different holes across the course, along with prizes. The event celebrated its 29th year!
Wormburner 2020 – How Digi Adjusted for COVID-19
The Wormburner event turned out to be ideal as the first gathering of any size the Digi corporate office has held since the outset of the Covid-19 lockdowns in the early spring of 2020, as it is held in expansive outdoor area - an 18-hole, 160-acre golf course.
Most Digi team members have been working remotely in that time, and it was the first opportunity to enjoy time together since the pandemic began. The day was cool and breezy, but otherwise an excellent day to be out on the green, and everyone had an enjoyable day.
Safety measures for the event included individual golf carts for everyone involved, vs. shared carts as we have done in the past. All volunteers wore masks unless spaced well apart.
Instead of a buffet meal, all participants were served individual box lunches. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes were provided, and participants observed social distancing precautions while enjoying the day. During these challenging times, the entire Digi team has done an excellent job of navigating precaution and safety, and Wormburner was no exception.
Introducing the Fundraising Recipients
This year, two highly active and long-standing 501(c)(3) community organizations from Minneapolis were the recipients of the fundraising proceeds from this year's golf event. These organizations do incredible work for the families and youth of the Twin Cities, providing programs and services to support healthy, thriving communities.
In both cases, the goal is enablement - ensuring families have the tools and resources to achieve educational goals and life goals, and to be strong, healthy and successful.
The Cookie Cart
organization has been a fixture of Minneapolis for over 30 years, providing a safe and nurturing environment for kids aged 15 to 18 to gain job skills, earn income and prepare for the working world.
Launched by Sister Jean Thuerauf in 1988, Cookie Cart has been going strong, training kids in the soft skills and hard skills of business and leadership. In 2020 alone, 300 teens will be employed in a total of 45,000 hours of job experience and job readiness training. The training areas include customer service, financial literacy and leadership.
Cookie Cart is a truly inspiring organization that makes a difference for kids in the Minneapolis/St. Paul communities, and for their future. Thank you, Cookie Cart, for all you do!
You can read more about Cookie Cart on the About Cookie Cart
page and their Get Involved
Northside Achievement Zone
The Northside Achievement Zone
(NAZ) is also a long-standing community organization committed to improving outcomes for kids and families. Based in North Minneapolis, an area known for being economically challenged, NAZ has a mission to "permanently close the achievement gap and end generational poverty in North Minneapolis."
The organization provides "wrap around services" to families to ensure that they have the breadth of support needed to create an environment for learning and achievement, following a "cradle to college" approach. To achieve this, NAZ partners with many different organizations, including Cookie Cart.
Thank you, Northside Achievement Zone for all you do for the families and communities of North Minneapolis!
You can learn more about NAZ at their Who We Are
, What We Do
, and Donate
pages, as well as other informational pages on their site.
Funds Raised for Cookie Cart and NAZ
This year was our most successful event to date. With the help of our event sponsors as well as generous donations from Digi employees and some friendly fundraising competition between Digi CEO Ron Konezny and Digi CFO Jamie Loch, we raised $20,000 leading up to the event, and an additional $2,000 with fundraising events throughout the day.
Ron Konezny and Jamie Loch held donation challenges at two stations on the golf course. Pictured here is CEO Ron Konezny, sporting a new beard developed during the quarantine.
Ron presented the initial funds raised to the two organizations, in opening comments prior to the launch of the golf event. Congratulations to Cookie Cart and NAZ!
Thank You to Our Event Sponsors
We could not have achieved this without the generous support of our sponsors. We would like to extend a hearty thank you to each of these organizations for being a part of this successful fundraising event.
In alphabetical order:
We truly appreciate your support!
Thank You to Our Volunteers
Any great event takes a great coordinator and a team of people helping to keep things running smoothly. Thank you, volunteers!