Annual tourney set to benefit special needs programs

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By Michael Hicks

The 10th annual Andy Smith Sr. Memorial Special Needs Golf Tournament, presented by the Mountain Foothills Rotary Club and Evergreen Park & Recreation District, is scheduled for July 21 at Hiwan Golf Club. Money raised goes toward the district’s special needs programs.
Maren Schreiber with the Evergreen Park & Recreation District said the tournament typically raises approximately $30,000 with EPRD and the Rotary Club splitting the profits — about $13,000-15,000 each. Schreiber said that proceeds go toward such things as scholarships, camps, Special Olympics and transportation costs.
The four-person scramble tournament tees off at 7:30 a.m. Schreiber said the tournament offers a continental breakfast and lunch. There will also be door prizes and a silent auction. She expects more than 100 golfers to take part. Individual golfers are welcome to sign up, and they will put into a group at the tournament, Schreiber said.
Former NBA player Keith Van Horn, the No. 2 pick of the 1997 draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, is in his fourth year at the honorary chairman for the golf tournament. Helping special needs families holds a special place for Van Horn, who has been involved in such programs since his days in the NBA.
“I’ve had a personal family experience with special needs, so I know how beneficial the programs are to the participants, but also to the family,” said Van Horn, who also played for the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks during an NBA career that lasted nine seasons.
The golf tournament will be played with teams of four. If players aren’t available to hit the links, EPRD and the Mountain Foothills Rotary Club are also accepting donations of $100 for its Be An Evergreen Hero campaign.
Van Horn said he’ll play in the tournament, though golf isn’t exactly his strong suit.
“I’m attempting to play,” Van Horn said, laughing. “I wouldn’t say that I’m a golfer by any means.”
Smith, the tournament’s namesake, was the owner of Evergreen Oil, a major tournament sponsor for many years.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.