A hole in fun: Evergreen Rotary fund-raiser tees off for nonprofits

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By Daniel Laverty

The golf at Keys on the Green last Thursday was fairly normal — that is, if Santa Claus playing with a storm trooper could be considered par for the course.

More than 100 golfers decked out in crazy costumes used even crazier methods to compete in the Evergreen Rotary’s 100 Holes of Golf fund-raising event. 

“The energy that everyone has out here today is just great,” said Wende Valentine, director of development for the Evergreen nonprofit Starfish One by One, which empowers Mayan women in Guatemala through education and mentorship. 

Although no one kept score, some big bucks were tallied for local organizations. The event, in its second year, raised more than $50,000 for nonprofits in Evergreen.

Golfers received pledges from donors to leverage the links for charity, said Bill Manning with Evergreen Rotary.

“People just have fun with the event,” Manning said. “It’s a chance for these nonprofits to get out in the community to raise some serious money.”

Along with standard golf clubs, participants used hockey sticks, tennis rackets, lacrosse sticks and even brooms to whack, smack and attack golf balls on the Evergreen Golf Course.

“I didn’t get a birdie; I got an ostrich,” joked participant Heather Aberg, referring to her less-than-stellar score on one hole. Aberg sunk her last shot buy using the handle of her golf club as a pool cue.

The biggest blast on the course came courtesy of Steve Graeber and Kenny Valdez, who were golfing for the Evergreen Chorale. The pair took things to the next level with their golf-ball air cannon. 

“We made it so a golf ball could fit in the pipe,” Graeber said after blasting a ball down the fairway. 

The duo spent three weeks constructing their version of a potato gun for the golf course.

“We had to do it for this event,” Graeber said. 

SEven with all the craziness on the course, some golfers managed to have a good day on the links.

“I’ve been shooting pretty well today,” said Jerry Van Eeckhout, who was golfing for the Evergreen Chorale. “I’ve had some good drives and putts.”

The weather played along, too.

“This has just been a beautiful experience and day,” Van Eeckhout said. “It’s a well-run event. It also really gives us (members of the Evergreen Chorale) a chance to meet all the other nonprofits here.”

Manning said donations are still being accepted for all local nonprofits, and those interested can pledge at www.100holes.evergreenrotary.org. 

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com