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Annual fundraiser’s ball drop 23 years in the making

For over 20 years, Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor’s annual golf classic has been providing the opportunity to not only golfers but non-golfers as well, to support the Presbyterian Manor’s Good Samaritan Program.  

In 2000, Presbyterian Manor added a “new twist” to the established golf tournament by introducing a ball drop.

“At a board meeting, the group was brainstorming about fundraising ideas for the Good Samaritan Program,” stated Peggy Bennett. Bennett served on the Presbyterian Manor’s Advisory Board at the time. “I shared with the group that my daughter, Jennifer, who lived in Washington state, belonged to an organization who had a ball drop fundraiser each year. The balls were dropped by a helicopter.”

The executive director at the time embraced the idea and presented it to the golf tournament committee. The executive director also knew a helicopter pilot and a Wichita company that the pilot worked for donated the use of the helicopter for the drop. The ball drop was held at the conclusion of the tournament that year and the helicopter dropped 240 numbered golf balls over the fairway, exceeding the committee’s goal of selling 200 balls that first year.  

Lucky golf ball number 173 belonged to 17-month-old Madison Oak who won $1,000. Madison’s father, Jon Oak, purchased a ticket for each of his three children. He and his wife told the committee they planned to put the winnings towards a college fund.

“Hearing this history makes me smile. Madison began her nursing career by working as a certified nurse aide for Presbyterian Manor in 2017-18,” stated Sarah Griggs, executive director.  

Over the years, the ball drop has adapted when necessary and grown in popularity. “After the helicopter pilot could no longer fly, we transitioned to dropping the golf balls from a bucket truck,” said Griggs. “We have been blessed to have Westar, and now Evergy, to donate their time and use of a truck for our event.”  

In 2016, the annual ball drop was named the Karl Faidley Memorial Golf Ball Drop after we lost longtime supporter of the Presbyterian Manor community and volunteer for our annual golf classic. Karl loved serving on the committee and would be the top seller of the ball drop tickets amongst the committee members. Karl’s wife, Dorothy, shared “on his way out the door, Karl would kiss me goodbye and joke, ‘we may not have any friends when I get back.’ Then he would return with a smile on his face and all his tickets sold.”  

“Karl believed in Presbyterian Manor’s mission and what the Good Samaritan Program provides to the residents,” stated Gene Brinkman, current resident of Presbyterian Manor. “He would not ask if you wanted a ball drop ticket, instead he asked how many ball drop tickets do you want to purchase in support of the residents who live at Presbyterian Manor. He had a passion.”  

“Truly, Presbyterian Manor has been blessed over the years,” stated Griggs. “That one idea that Peggy Bennett suggested 23 years ago has invited more individuals in our local community to learn about and support Presbyterian Manor’s residents and mission.”  

The Good Samaritan Program provides financial support for local Presbyterian Manor seniors who have, at no fault of their own, outlived their financial resources. The program provides residents with a sense of security so that they can enjoy the last chapter of their lives without worry.  

This year’s tournament and Karl Faidley Memorial Ball Drop is scheduled for Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Winfield Country Club.

The golf ball drop will be held near the clubhouse at the course at 9:15 a.m. and tee off for the tournament is at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for the ball drop are $10 each and the three numbered golf balls closest to the stake win - $500, $300 and $200 respectively. Tickets can be purchased from any committee member, the front office at Presbyterian Manor or at

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