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Toby Tournament Going Strong in 2021

General Parts Group's team at the 2021 Toby Golf Tournament

By Chuck Knuth – Business Development Representative

It is a beautiful day, well, it was, if you are at the Toby Tournament. After last year’s event being canceled because of Covid, the stars aligned in 2021, and the previous day’s thunderstorms storms cleared to reveal a clear sky, perfect for golf.

If you’re looking for a way to support the future generation of foodservice professionals in the Twin Cities or even in the upper mid-west, then look no further. This event is OUR way to give back and invest in students who are getting their degrees in the hospitality industry so they can be our next generation of chefs, restaurant managers, and hotel GMs. This event, through the nonprofit Toby Landgraf Memorial Educational Fund, has now donated over $600,000 to students over the years.

Thirty-five years ago, there was a local manufacture rep named Toby Landgraf who loved education. Unfortunately, Toby passed away at an early age, and ever since in his memory, there has been a golf tournament that raises money to support students. These young students are attending colleges like UW Stout, involved with the local ACF Chefs association, or they are up-and-coming chefs for the CMAA (Country Club Managers association). They could also be as young high school students who are competing in the Pro-Start contests put on in conjunction with Hospitality MN.

What is so neat about the Toby Tournament is that EVERYONE is there. All the manufactures’ reps from different equipment lines, all the dealers, several service agencies, and buying groups. There are also end-users from health care operators to restauranters, food service directors to facility managers and buyers.

There is nothing like being in the same room with your peers, all from different segments of foodservice, and be of ONE mind to give back and support our industry. No one is worried about leveraging any angle, but just connecting with one another and enjoying our friendships, new and old. In a way, we just seem to understand each other as we are all professionals in our cherished foodservice industry. To be honest, I also see this event as a good opportunity to update myself on who is with what company, because in this industry the mergers, acquisitions, and people moving is constant. After I leave the event, I am much more ‘in the know’ about current events and who is where.

General Parts Group has been a proud supporter of this foodservice community fundraising event for the past two decades. Our support has been to host a foursome, sponsor a hole, and for much of the past decade help on the steering committee with coordinating raffles and sponsors plus being treasurer, but there are many other ways to get plugged in. Check out the website https://www.tobytournament.org for more opportunities, like a golf cart or beverage cart sponsorships. Just a tip – this event sells out the same day it opens, and it typically opens the first Monday in June.

I hope from reading this blog you get involved in next year’s event or find ways in your own community to support the next generation. Hope to see you sometime soon at the next industry event!