Preps start to feed thousands at Slavic Invitational golf tourney

Preparations for the Slavic Invitational Golf Tournament. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Preparations for the Slavic Invitational Golf Tournament. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Slavic Invitational Golf Tournament organizers said the four day event brings a $2 million  economic impact to the coast. Before golfers tee off on Friday a lot of hard work has to be done especially in the kitchen. Slavic Lodge members will be feeding 2,000 golfers and guests which is a massive undertaking.

Five hundred pounds of roast beef. Four hundred pounds of ham. That's just the beginning. Slavic Lodge members need to cook enough ribs, steak, chicken seafood and side dishes to feed 2,000 people over a four day time span. So the volunteers said they make it a labor of love by telling jokes.

Michael Kovacevich, a lodge member said, "There's a lot of cutting up going on. A lot of clowning and teasing. It's hard work but it's fun. You want to be there. We have people that's not even members wanting to volunteer to help because it's so much fun."

The Slavic Invitational golf tournament is three days of golfing at six golf courses. Members said to put this on takes tremendous organizational skills but after 40 years they have it down to a science.

"It became just members the first year and then golf was becoming so popular," said Andrew Gilich, Tournament Director. "So we started with one golf course at Sunkist. It kind of evolved to two, three, four, five and six. Over the years we've funded over 200 scholarships."

Slavic Lodge members said the key to their tournament's success is that people have a great time.. even if their golf game isn't up to par.

"The golf is competitive. You win this tournament and you've got a pretty good feather in your cap," said Gilich. "But if you play in it you're still going to have a tremendous time. If you can't have a good time in this tournament, you can't have a good time."

The Slavic Invitational will start with a welcome dinner on Thursday night. Golf rounds begin Friday morning and continues through Sunday.

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