December 8, 2021 —

“The Prairie Club is a very special place to us.”

Those were the words of fellow Prairie Club member and Mesa, Arizona, native Jay Kerutis when our team chatted with him earlier this week.

Jay continued, “We take great pride in knowing the people of Valentine, and we want this place to be successful. We feel a sense of community and ownership here.”

This “we” he refers to is a group now known as Las Sendas Group, a group of 25 to 30 golfers who every September get together at The Prairie Club for their Fall Classic.

At times expanding to almost 60 participants, it’s a seven-day, end-to-end week of friendly competitive golf and contributions to charity via our Foundation.  People come and go throughout the week.

Meaning “the path” in Spanish, Las Sendas is one of the top golf clubs in Mesa. It was around 2014 when another of our members planted a seed to his Las Sendas friends about a “must-play” destination in rural Nebraska he had helped start.

Kent Mundon, a founding member from Rapid City, SD, started spreading the word. Once he brought his Arizona peers for a trip, it didn’t take long before a group of eight joined.

They then started their annual tradition.

The group consists of guys from Minnesota, Arizona, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming, and more. Other guests of the group have come from Florida, California, and Kansas. Essentially, this is a nationwide group.

A photo of some members of Las Sendas Group. Jay joked, “It’s a bad photo, but at our age I’m surprised we even had a phone.”

This is the core group:

  • Darv and Ross Habben (Minnesota)
  • Dave Laube (Arizona)
  • Al Kline (Minnesota)
  • Mark Treadwell (Arizona)
  • Gary Hermanson (South Dakota)
  • Dave Stebbins (South Dakota)
  • Todd Van Rensselaer (Wyoming)
  • Shane Jensen (Nebraska)
  • Jay Kerutis (Arizona)

These group members and their guests would compete with blind, two-man draws, random stableford events, matches, and skins games, enjoying all that comes with an experience on the Nebraska prairie.

That was when the group had a revelation.

“We had been hearing about this Foundation that the club was launching, and we just knew that our group had to help,” remembered Jay.

“Of course, it’s a great group of guys, and we have a ton of fun. But we knew that we had to do something to benefit this place after everything they do for us,” he said. “I don’t hesitate to speak for the group when I say that we feel honored to be able to give to a foundation that keeps these kids employed at The Prairie Club and provide them with opportunities that will serve them for the rest of their lives. It’s amazing.”

Over the years, the Las Sendas group has had the privilege to meet some of the recipients. They’ve been impressed by the level of service and talent they possess.

“Especially after meeting a few of them, we were so impressed,” remarked Jay. “We are truly honored.”

This past year, the Las Sendas group offered donations tallying some $7,200.  Since 2018, they’ve contributed more than $20,000.

There is no method to the madness. The ask is simple: When the group is all sitting around for dinner and drinks, a member of the group gets up and speaks about the club and the staff that supports it. A simple remark about the Foundation, and the money starts flowing in.

The Las Sendas Group has made a massive difference in the success of this Foundation. It’s members like these, and others who have contributed, who make the vision for this project work.

We cannot thank them enough.

Jay concluded, “Honestly, it’s because of the atmosphere and the people at The Prairie Club that make us feel so welcome when we come. We really feel at home when we come to The Prairie Club, and I think that means everything.”

The feeling is mutual, Jay.

Contribute to the Foundation today.