Sold Out Women’s Tournament Succeeds for Sixth Year
Dozens of women went home with prizes, merchandise and inspirational messages from the sixth annual Golf Fore Red tournament, but the grand prize winner was The Hope Heart Institute, this year’s beneficiary.
Tournament director and co-founder Mary Robinson said sponsors, donors and players helped raise more than $22,000 during the July 27 event at The Golf Club at Redmond Ridge. Net proceeds increased nearly 17 percent from last year.
Robinson, the president of Golf Fore Red, and other representatives from the all-volunteer tournament committee presented an oversized check totaling $21,000 during an awards ceremony at The Hope Heart Classic (The Hope’s own tournament) on August 5. The Bellevue-based nonprofit organization focuses on cardiovascular research and education, including programs tailored to women. (Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women.)
Golf Fore Red was established by Robinson and a longtime friend, Shelley French, to honor their mothers, who both died at young ages from heart conditions.
This year’s tournament sold out four months in advance, marking the third consecutive sellout. The popular all-women event draws a diverse field, with most players attired in red, the color that symbolizes awareness of heart disease and support for women’s heart health.
Awards went to first and second place teams with low net and low gross scores. Individuals who won skills competitions at various holes also earned trophies and prizes. In a new competition this year, twosomes and foursomes were invited to decorate their carts based on the event’s “heart healthy” mission and theme.
Along with on-course competitions, the event featured prize drawings and a silent auction. All golfers and volunteers received a reusable Hope Heart Institute shopping bag that was filled with assorted merchandise, gift cards, and healthy snacks from various donors.
A traditional part of the awards luncheon that follows the scramble tournament is a program with guest speakers. Cherie Skager, interim executive director of the Hope Heart Institute, helped welcome the crowd as she highlighted some of the organization’s programs and services, and how tournament proceeds are used.
This year’s keynote speaker was Emmy Award-winning actress-comedienne Tracey Conway, whose life changed forever at age 38 when she was brought back to life from sudden cardiac arrest. Joining her for a skit following her remarks were cast members from Seattle Radio Theatre.
Robinson said more than a dozen non-committee volunteers also devote their day to the cause, including representatives from the Hope Heart Institute. Also among this year’s volunteers were Kristen Allard, PGA Apprentice Assistant Professional at Seattle Golf Club and a former four-year starter on the golf team at Washington State University, and Erin Szekely, LPGA Teaching and Club Professional at Twin Rivers Golf Club and player on a professional mini-tour on the West Coast. Teams were able to “purchase” their shot-making on one of the holes, thereby enhancing their score.
Nearly three dozen sponsors and more than 60 donors of prizes and gift bag merchandise supported the 2013 tournament, according to Robinson. A complete list, along with a gallery of event and team photos, appears on the Golf Fore Red website.
The 2014 tournament is scheduled for July 26. Online registration is expected to open sometime in February.
About Golf Fore Red. Golf Fore Red, established in 2007 and trademarked in 2010, earned IRS approval in 2011 as a 501(c)3 organization. It was created to connect women of all abilities at a fun and well-organized annual fundraising tournament. The fundraising has jumped from $2,800 in year one to this year’s net total of $21,000. Proceeds from previous tournaments have supported local education and science for women’s heart health through research and programs of the American Heart Association and the Hope Heart Institute. For the past two years during February in observance of “Heart Month,” Golf Fore Red and The Hope have partnered on a Women Take Heart event featuring wine and chocolate tastings, and a featured speaker on nutrition and other healthy living topics.
Although the emphasis is on fun and education, golfers had several opportunities to compete. Prizes were awarded to the top two teams with low scores, and to winners of several “skills” contests:
|Competition||Winners||City (where golfer lives)|
|1st Place Low Gross (team score 61)||JoAnne BarterTracy Eads
|North BendNorth Bend
|2nd Place Low Gross(team score 63)||Suzie AlbrechtBarbara Rogers
|1st Place Low Net (team net score 43)||Erin BellingJen Douvis
|2nd Place Low Net (team net score 44.4)||Linda CowanDiane Kamla
Gretchen Van Dyk
|Long Drive||Erin Belling||Seattle|
|KP (Closest to Pin), hole #4||Barb Baker||Bellevue|
|KP Hole #12|
|Cart Decorating, 1st place||Nancy Bennett-EvansMichele Bracelin
|2nd place, Cart Decorating||Kathy BlumenstineKathy Giacolino