by James Coulter
Golf is fun. Food is fun. So, what happens when you combine the best of both worlds? You get VISTEBall, the annual fundraiser for Volunteers in Service to the Elderly (VISTE).
For the past 19 years, this unique indoor event has allowed people to tee up and test their golf skills through various golf-themed games. Whether it is trying to make the perfect strike, or playing through a miniature golf course, VISTEBall offers all the fun of golf—indoors!
Several hundred people attended this year’s event, which was hosted at the Sun n Fun Expo in Lakeland on Saturday evening. Attendees were able to participate in golf-themed games as well as sample food and drinks, place bets on silent and live auctions, and enjoy a dinner prepared by local eateries.
VISTE is a local non-profit organization that serves at-risk seniors. According to its website: “VISTE provides essential services for over 4,100 seniors, including transportation (primarily to medical appointments), hot meals, supplemental groceries, ramps, and more. Over 1,000 community volunteers assist with almost all programs, helping to reduce social isolation among clients, many of whom live alone.”
Steve Bissonnette, VISTE President, appreciates this year’s turnout, which he called a “phenomenal crowd” and owes to the overall good weather. This year opened up the venue more with a shift in format, but overall the planning and organization of the event went smoothly, he said.
“The turnout has been fantastic this year,” he said. “I love the turnout, the people. Everybody is having a great time. People are having fun. They are enjoying themselves, and it is for a great cause.”
With the event being hosted for nearly 20 years, Bissonnette owes its success to the community. Without dedicated attendees, there would be no VISTEBall.
“People will make this on their calendar a year in advance looking forward to the next event,” she said. “We are just grateful to the community for supporting an organization like VISTE. There is no other organization like it on the planet. We are only here because the community cares.”