Sun Lakes Rotary Golf Tournament breaks record

Norm Noble

Brilliant sunshine and perfect temperatures on Sunday, March 26, greeted 170 golfers gathered at Oakwood Country Club to participate in the Sun Lakes Rotary Charity Golf Tournament. Just before tee time, a helicopter hovered over the practice tee where a green had been constructed. Then, 1,500 marked golf balls fell out of the sky, destined for the green below. A few of them made it into the cup. And from this clutter of balls, six winners emerged: Roy Moser, 1st Place; Don Robins, 2nd Place; Allan Grady, 2nd Place; Landon Osborn, 3rd Place; Bill Schink, 3rd Place; Ross Dupuis, 3rd Place.

All three Oakwood golf courses, Lakes, Palms and Sonoran, were used. In addition to hole-in-one prizes on three par threes (no one won a car), there were special opportunities to shoot golf balls through a bazooka. These strange contraptions were capable of firing a ball 300 yards and put a whole new look on the game. Few of the participants had ever shot a ball that far before. Most took advantage of the opportunity. It was a blast, to say the least!

Winners of the tournament were the team of Frank Wiley, Raul Diarafimo, John Kiehl and J.R. Herrick.

More money was raised by Sun Lakes Rotary for their charities than ever raised before, beating the previous high by $12,000. The club has done some extraordinary things since its foundation in 1986. There are long lists of charities that have benefited from the club’s support: Neighbors Who Care, Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley, the Sheriff’s Posse, to name a few. But the largest beneficiary is the Chandler Unified School District because of the club’s primary outreach toward education. Club members spend hundreds of hours each year mentoring children from third grade through high school.

The club gives dictionaries to every third-grade student in the Chandler United School District. To date, they have given dictionaries to over 44,000 third graders. For the past several years, the club has taught a program called “Choices” to every ninth grader in the Chandler United School District to keep the students in school. To date, they have taught this program to over 50,000 ninth graders.

While polio is not an issue in the USA (we stamped out this virus decades ago) in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, it remains a serious threat. It is a major focus of Rotary International to eradicate this dreaded disease by immunizing more than two billion children worldwide. The Sun Lakes Rotary Club has participated in this effort with gifts of over $100,000 since the club’s inception in 1986.

Want to know more about Sun Lakes Rotary? The club meets for breakfast every Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. in the Oakwood Country Club Ballroom. The meetings start at 7:00 a.m. and end promptly at 8:00 a.m. Cost of breakfast is $12. To make reservations for any meeting, contact Rotarian Fred DePrez at 480-892-7499. For Sun Lakes residents, if you want to know more about the club, contact Charles Loew at 602-721-3680. SunBird residents should contact Walt Mills at 480-883-8007.