VICTOR — Donning matching T-shirts, the "Pitiful Putters" foursome teed off early Saturday morning for a round of mini golf.
"It's nice to get our putters warmed up for golf season, and it's for a good cause," said Kathy Ross of Williamson, Wayne County, playing with her husband and a couple from Pittsford for the 10th year.
The cause was the Mental Health Association of Rochester, which held its 17th annual Skyway Open fundraiser at Eastview Mall. The event previously took place in downtown Rochester, but the demolition at Midtown Mall and its walkways prompted a change in venue.
"With the skyways coming down this winter, we definitely had to do something different. We reached out to Eastview, and they were happy to help us," said Pat Woods, MHA president and CEO.
Organizers said the new location had actually increased excitement and awareness of the event, as it offered free parking and plenty of activities to do after conquering the 18 holes.
Each hole was designed by a different sponsor and featured a theme, much like the whimsical setups at a regular miniature golf course.
At the "19th hole," a silent auction and raffle presented an opportunity to participate without even picking up a putter. The prizes included an Apple iPad and hotel packages.
The 2010 Skyway Open raised about $32,000. This year's event raised an estimated $45,000, Woods said Saturday evening.
All proceeds benefit the association's programs, support groups and services. More than 10,000 people in the Rochester region were helped last year.
"The Mental Health Association is open to all individuals in our community who have mental health challenges and are looking to attain and maintain mental wellness," said Mary Lewis Consler, director of agency advancement.