SARTELL -- It was an uplifting day at Blackberry Ridge golf club in Sartell as over 300 people took part in the first-ever golf outing to benefit the Tom Bearson Foundation.

"We just want everybody to have a good time," says Tom's dad, Greg Bearson. "We know Tom's going to be with us here in spirit today and and he would want everybody here to have a blast."

Tom Bearson, a 2014 graduate of Sartell-St. Stephen High School, was killed last fall in the Fargo-Moorhead area during his freshman semester at North Dakota State University. No arrests have been made in the case.

Tom's mom, Debbie, says they have been touched by the support shown by the community over the past 11 months.

"We've had a generous outpouring, the community has been beyond supportive," Debbie Bearson says. "[We have gotten] numerous donations -- beyond our wildest dreams -- it's very heartwarming."

"It's been overwhelming, we're humbled by the support," says Greg Bearson.

Proceeds from the event will go towards scholarship programs, area basketball programs, and Greg Bearson says they hope to get involved in the promotion of campus safety in the near future.

The Bearsons say being involved with the foundation has been a ray of light in an otherwise dark and tragic situation.

"It gives us a positive feeling," Debbie Bearson says. "It gives us somewhere to go versus feeling down, we just needed somewhere positive to go."

"This is so uplifting, it gives us a source of strength and purpose in our lives," Greg Bearson says. "We need to live our lives in a positive fashion and do our best to honor our son, and being positive and fun is the best way to do that."

Next year's Tom Bearson Foundation golf outing is already scheduled for July 23rd, again at Blackberry Ridge in Sartell.

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON