Dow GLBI directors thrilled with 'elecric' week

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Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational Tournament Director Wendy Traschen chose one word to describe the atmosphere during Saturday’s closing ceremony at the 18th green at the Midland Country Club: “electric.”

“Everybody is so happy,” Traschen enthused. “I’ve lived here almost my whole life and I’ve never seen anything else bring the community together like this.”

With CBS broadcasting the LPGA Tour’s only team event live around the world, thousands of people gathered near the island green and in grandstands and balconies to see Lizette Salas and Jennifer Kupcho receive their championship trophies after their 26-under-par finish and five-stroke victory.

“We had record crowds, attendance, and sponsorships,” Traschen said.

Next year’s fourth Dow GLBI will take place from July 17-22, 2023, Dow Chairman and CEO Jim Fitterling announced to the crowd. The LPGA and Dow recently reached an agreement to keep the tournament at the Midland Country Club through 2029.

That means many more opportunities to impact the community and the region, Traschen noted. Each year, the Dow GLBI chooses 36 nonprofits across the four-county Great Lakes Bay Region to be beneficiaries of the event. Dow is also using this platform to model and promote environmental sustainability and equity and inclusion, among other initiatives.

“We want to continue to grow in the region,” Traschen said. “Sustainability continues to be huge for us. We want to get that message out to the region and to other LPGA events.”

Like Traschen, Dow GLBI Executive Director Chris Chandler expressed gratitude for the community’s embrace of the annual event.

“The fans are unbelievable,” Chandler said. “It makes us happy and proud that we’ve built something special for the community,”

With three tournaments now in the rearview mirror, Chandler and his team have developed somewhat of a blueprint for success.

“This year ran better than any other year so far,” he said. “We’re in year three, so it really starts to click. But that won’t stop us from continuing to find ways to get better.”

Chandler said there was a particular emphasis on “family-friendly” events this year, including the return of the onsite STEM Center and the new Creators Wanted escape room. 

He said he’s thankful to the fans, the tournament sponsors, the community, the more than 1,000 volunteers, and the Midland Country Club, to name a few.

“It’s a team effort, and that’s what this (#TEAMUP theme of the Dow GLBI) is all about,” Chandler noted. “The community embraces that.”