Local golfers ‘Tee’ up for charity

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  • Golfer Kelly Kovarik sunk what we were told as his 10th long put on hole 9. (Erin Jusseaume/ Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Not everyone made it onto the green with their first hit, but detemination was seen from all. (Erin Jusseaume/ Clark Fork Valley Press)

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    Sean Kelly (L) and Kathy Miller (R) were all smiles at the tournament on Saturday. (Erin Jusseaume/ Clark Fork Valley Press)

  • Golfer Kelly Kovarik sunk what we were told as his 10th long put on hole 9. (Erin Jusseaume/ Clark Fork Valley Press)

  • 1

    Not everyone made it onto the green with their first hit, but detemination was seen from all. (Erin Jusseaume/ Clark Fork Valley Press)

  • 2

    Sean Kelly (L) and Kathy Miller (R) were all smiles at the tournament on Saturday. (Erin Jusseaume/ Clark Fork Valley Press)

The recent Avista Charity Golf Tournament in Thompson Falls has been hailed a huge success by organizers.

The charity game saw 18 teams compete for more of what’s known as bragging rights on the nine-hole course.

The day kicked off with teams that competed across three categories, mixed, men’s and women’s.

With the accompaniment of the silent auction the Cancer Network of Sanders County were overwhelmed with the local support.

“It’s been a great day here at the golf course, we had an excellent turn out and the rate of play has been fantastic all day,” said Avista representative Sean Kelly.

Kelly was said to be all over the course, cheering on players, catching up with friends and enjoying the day himself.

Avista is big on giving back to the community through local charities. The tournament has been running for around nine years now. In those nine years Avista has built up their cohort of charitable organizations that are registered with the 501-3c non-for profit.

“This is our second time around,” said Cancer Network lead Kathy Miller.

Though this was their second time to be offered the golf tournament, Miller acknowledged the hard work that Avista does to ensure that people in need within the community can be helped by charities; ensuring they can fundraise the dollars to do so.

“For a relatively ‘poor’ county, it is always overwhelming to see just how many residents dig deep to help others,” she added.

“Sanders County would have to be the most charitable county I have seen, it blows us away every year,” said Kelly.

Both Kelly and Miller were equally amazed at how many items they received from local businesses and families for donating items for the raffle and silent auction.

“We didn’t receive any bids online for the auction, but the sheets are certainly filling up today. As golfers move past the golf house they all seem to be going through the items on displayed on the tables. The bids are great so far,” said Miller.

“When you look over and see a golf course full of golfers and then to see family, friends and community members come in to watch it is a great feeling,” added Miller.

These thoughts were shared with Kelly, as they [Miller and Kelly] stood back occasionally to take a breath and feel accomplished of what they will be able to offer those residents that are in need of help through the Cancer Network.

Just recently Miller had said that the small charity is inches away from reaching a quarter of a million dollars donated to residents since they started.

“Even more recently we’ve been able to increase our donation amounts by a couple hundred dollars,” said Miller.

Adding, “This makes an even bigger difference as if we can give larger amounts of cash to those that need it. We are able to do more to help in what ever way the need.”

All money donated to recipients is that, a donation. There are no strings attached, no repayments, and no catches. This is what truly makes the charity one of a kind.

The final amount raised from the day’s events was just over $15,000. From the silent auction to the raffle, the total money handed over free and clear from Avista equaled, $14,852.

“Once the winners were announced, they all received a cheque totaling $240. The men’s team took me by surprise as they handed their prize money to us at the Cancer Network,” said Miller.

With all the overwhelming support on the day and the lead up, the 9th Annual Avista Charity Golf Tournament was seen as an almighty hole in one.

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