Seeds for the Detlef Schrempf Foundation were planted in 1993, upon Detlef’s return to the Northwest to play for the Seattle Sonics. That Spring the formation of the inaugural Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic began, which eventually sprang roots for the creation of the Detlef Schrempf Foundation.
The Golf Classic was born out of the philanthropic vision of Eastside Chrysler Jeep and Sports Radio KJR AM, to raise money for Boyer Children’s Clinic. Fresh from Indiana, and poised to establish himself again in the Northwest, Detlef made a three-year commitment to be the celebrity host of this start-up golf tournament. And so it began....the first Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic at McCormick Woods, including a small Auction and Pairings Party at Benjamin’s on Lake Union. The event raised an astounding $23,000!
The next year, the Golf Classic more than doubled the previous year’s proceeds, and Detlef and Mari’s interest in becoming an organized, fundraising entity began. In January of 1996, the Detlef Schrempf Foundation was established, and their debut event included a much larger Gala and Auction which was added to the Golf Classic weekend. In three short years, they were able to go from $23,000 raised to $170,000.
The early years revealed an eager, start-up organization, experimenting with a variety of fundraising endeavors....retail and restaurant openings, 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, celebrity blackjack tournaments, celebrity game nights, celebrity dinners, public and private concerts with headline entertainers, holiday cruises, holiday parties, fashion shows, and numerous meet n’ greets after Sonics games.
With a small staff and dedicated Board, the Detlef Schrempf Foundation evolved into a special event organization, producing all Foundation events, as well has partnering with various organizations on their individual fundraising efforts.
Founded in 1996 and fundraising since 1993, in 2013 the Detlef Schrempf Foundation celebrated 20 years of fundraising for Northwest children's charities. Over the years, the Detlef Schrempf Foundation has raised over $18-million for our community in the Northwest.
Now the Foundation recognizes its greatest success in organizing three major annual events, while still partnering on smaller projects. They are: the iconic F5 St. Patrick’s Day Dash in March, founded by Alan Bonney in 1984, boasting 10,000+ runners today; the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Gala and Golf Weekend in June; and Old Bellevue's Taste of Main in August. Through the success of these events and others, the Foundation has raised over $18 million dollars since the Foundation's inception in 1996.