From left are U of O alumni Morgan Flint, Rob Beard, Riley Showalter and Tim Taylor, with defensive coach Joe Schaffeld (center) during the Oregon Athlete Foundation Golf Tournament at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort on April 20. Schaffeld, who coached for Oregon from 1974 to 1997, went on to become part of the Duck Athletic Fund which provides members with ”opportunities to support Oregon Athletics and connect with other Duck fans.” CHRISTOPHER PALANUK/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
On a pleasantly sunny spring morning, over 110 University of Oregon (UO) alumni picked up their golf clubs and donned their golfing best to participate in the Oregon Athlete Foundation (OAF) Golf Tournament on April 20.
Hosted for the first time at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort in Creswell, Emerald Valley General Manager Laine Wortman said that former UO basketball player Luke Jackson brought the event to his attention.
”Luke Jackson is part of the Oregon Athlete Foundation Board and inquired this winter about us hosting the event,” Wortman said in an email.
The OAF, spearheaded by its founder and CEO, Michael DeLaGrange, is a nonprofit organization that puts on fundraisers through social events and career opportunities for UO athletes. The goal, as quoted from their mission statement, is to provide ”an organization that will help with (athletes’) transition to becoming alumni through mentorship and networking opportunities and then fostering those relationships into lifetime engagements.”
Many alumni did just that as they divided into 28 teams, cranked up their favorite bands and set off in their golf carts along the paved walkways. Even those who weren’t seasoned golfers got to enjoy the game through silly activities hosted by some of the 21 sponsors.
The Cooler Restaurant and Bar kept players’ thirsts quenched and their game amusing each received a free alcoholic shot of their choice along with a spin of the wheel that determined their next club.
Another activity, offered by another sponsor, Dixon was the Aurelius Challenge. For the first part of the event, each golfer got a chance to win a driver from the company Aurelius if they could land their ball in one of the 10 hula hoops marked by noodles on Hole 18, all while wearing a silly hat. If they didn’t make it then, they could donate $20 for a chance to win a club of their choice.
By the afternoon, Bruce Berkeley, Rob Close, Les Duman and Bruce Jenson had clinched the tournament win with a final team score of 54. Scot Boatright, Bud Bowie, Tom Curran and David Cuttrell finished second with a team score of 57. Third place was shared by five other teams who all scored 58.
Emerald Valley Golf & Resort hosts 12 to 15 such events every year and is currently gearing up for their own Space Age Cup Emerald Valley Open this weekend. But before this fundraiser was written in the books, Wortman expressed his interest in making this fundraiser another hole in one.
”We hope it becomes an annual event here at Emerald Valley,” he said.