The families of Carl Bates and Steve King were searching for the perfect way to carry on the legacies of the well-known local farmers.

The families of Carl Bates and Steve King were searching for the perfect way to carry on the legacies of the well-known local farmers.

The result was a rousing success — like a perfectly struck tee shot that sails 300 yards right down the middle of the fairway.

The families came together to host the inaugural Bates-King Memorial Golf Outing on June 15 at Kewanee Dunes Golf Club. The outing is the financial piece that funds a Galva High School scholarship created in the names of the farmers who passed away from cancer — Carl in November 2015 and Steve in November 2017.

Pam Bates and Pam King answered in unison when asked who hatched the golf outing/scholarship idea.

“It was all the boys. Tyler (Bates) and Aaron (King),” said the wives of Carl and Steve.

“They (Carl and Steve) weren’t near the golfers that the boys are, but it was a nice opportunity to get the community involved,” Pam King said.

And the community didn’t hesitate to get involved.

“We were hoping for 20 teams. That was our goal,” Pam King said.

That goal was doubled, plus eight more teams as 48 foursomes teed it up in a preferred-ball golf outing on a warm, sun-splashed day at the Dunes.

“When we filled the whole afternoon, it was okay, now what do we do?” Pam Bates said.

What they did was add a morning flight to accommodate all the golfers wanting to join in the fellowship for a great cause. Golfers that enjoyed the first-ever Bates-King outing can now put the future dates on their calendars in ink — the Friday before Father’s Day.

“I think God kind of laid it all out for us,” Pam King said of this year’s date. “We weren’t super early booking the date, but it was available and it was Father’s Day weekend. It was just kind of meant to be.”

That date in 2019 is June 14, and the plan is to offer both morning and afternoon start times during registration.

The inaugural Bates-King Memorial Scholarship was awarded to two members of the Galva High School Class of 2018 — Cameron Meyer and Kristen VanDeVelde.

“We just thought it would be a nice pay-it-forward thing and it just kind of evolved,” Pam King said of the scholarship. “This year, we had just two great candidates and we didn’t want to choose, so we gave it to them both.”

Eligibility for the scholarship requires plans to major in agriculture and completing  at least a two-year college program, with a preference to students planning to attend Black Hawk East. Both Carl and Steve graduated from GHS in 1978 and BHE in 1980.

The plan is to award one $500 scholarship every year, unless two outstanding candidates like Meyer and VanDeVelde make the decision too difficult to determine a clear-cut recipient.

“We’ve talked about that if we do well, other charities may benefit from it, too,” Pam Bates said.

So what would Carl and Steve think about the golf outing and scholarship in their memories? Again, the wives answered in unison.


“They were both humble guys,” Pam Bates said.