A ground-swell of support is beginning to form for a four-person scramble fundraiser that will be staged at Sunnyside's Black Rock Creek Golf Course on Friday, Sept. 7.
The beneficiaries of the golf tourney will be the Children and Youths of Veterans, a branch of the American Legion that serves as a last-step support system for family members of military veterans, when emergencies arise.
Heading up the Sept. 7 golf fundraiser is a longtime, active member of the American Legion, Sunnyside's Troy Monholland. To date, Monholland said nearly two dozen people have already committed to playing in the tourney, and approximately $1,000 has been raised thus far in sponsorship monies.
Obviously, Monholland said, he's hoping for a large turnout for the tournament.
"It's our belief that the Lower Yakima Valley community has many family members and friends of veterans who are willing to show their support for this good cause," said Monholland.
But besides having a large crowd of golfers on hand for the tourney, Monholland said his primary goal "...is to see veterans, their families and friends having fun at this event."
One of the highlights for the American Legion faithful will be the appearance of Ken Lee at the Sept. 7 tourney. A Tonasket-area resident, Lee is the past department commander for the Washington state American Legion. Monholland said Lee will hit the links with the rest of the tournament field.
Monholland, too, said the American Legion Auxiliary, the Sons of the American Legion and the American Legion Riders will be on hand to help ensure the tournament comes off without a hitch.
"We'll be having an 8 a.m. shotgun start that day, which lets all the golfers know when to start play," said Monholland. "But instead of using a shotgun, I'm hoping the Legion Riders will all start up their motorcycles to let everyone know when to swing away."
Also on hand at Black Rock Creek Golf Course will be Yakima's HoltZinger Fruit, which plans on giving tournament participants a first-hand look at its newest product line, called Veteran's Honor Fridge Packs. The fresh apple eight-packs won't officially make their debut in local grocery stores until Veterans Day in mid-November. Monholland said HoltZinger Fruit has pledged to donate a portion of all sales of the new product line to the military veterans program called "Hope for the Warriors."
Local residents who want to jump on board and take part in the Sept. 7 golf tourney have until next Wednesday, Aug. 22, to sign up. Entry costs are set at $100 per player. Monholland said entries can come in the way of entire four-person teams, or players can sign up individually and be placed on a team. The entry fee includes the use of a power cart, drink tickets and a lunch that will feature the old military stand-by, S.O.S..
"For the weak of heart, we'll also be offering hamburgers on the menu," laughed Monholland.
The Sunnyside military veteran also noted that tourney participants will have the opportunity to win a brand new Ford vehicle in a special hole-in-one competition, compliments of Tom Denchel Ford, as well as other prizes.
Entry checks from golfers or businesses that want to serve as a hole sponsor at a cost of $25, should be made out to Black Rock Creek Golf Course and mailed to Monholland at 635 D., Thompson Drive, Sunnyside, Wa. 98944. Those needing more information about the tournament can contact Monholland at 509-949-4779.