Take a Swing at Cancer Tournament

Take a Swing at Cancer fun and fundraising players (Photo by Bill George)

Ann Lange

Support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the taken, and never give up hope. These beautiful words were worn on the t-shirts of 96 MountainView/Preserve Women’s Golf Association (MPWGA) players and their 40 caddies. The annual fundraising tournament, played Nov. 16, brought in over $28,300, making the amount raised by the MPWGA over the years $189,259, with every dollar going directly to the University of Arizona Cancer Center.

At the Cocktails and Caddies event the previous evening, MPWGA member Terry Kelly received a standing ovation after sharing her personal story of battling and surviving cancer and how she gives back through mentoring and inspiring others. The ladies enjoyed a long buffet table of appetizers with their drinks, and with each sip, the sweeter and more tempting those old golf geezers, ready for auction, looked. The circle of SaddleBrooke sweetness was corralled in the center of the room, called by some, the “Caddie Shack,” and by others, the “Sugar Shack.” They were called up to the front of the room, by singles or pairs, for closer inspection and ogling, and the Caddie Hunk Hustle had begun. Auctioneers Dennis Marchand and Mike Karpe immensely exaggerated their golf prowess and value, even calling one “priceless.”

After an early morning photo, the 24 teams and the sugar-coated caddies began a shotgun scramble. The gopher, chauffeur, do-fer-her caddies were in charge of golf gadgets, gizmos, and giggles and did all the heavy work, handy work, housework, and restoration yard work. The restless caddies were allowed six drives per team on par 4 or 5 holes. The instruction was simple: Keep the ball in the fairway. These unique men not only read the instruction, but actually followed it. Just in case their ball might have thought the grass looked greener on the other side of the fairway, caddies were allowed to pre-purchase mulligans. As the golfers frolicked the MountainView course, they paused respectfully at each tee box to read the honor signs. The slogan “Together… let us fight,” and the cancer awareness ribbon topped each sign, followed by personal notes of thanks, encouragement, or remembrances for loved ones.

After the round, the group assembled in the MountainView Ballroom for lunch and more fundraising. Money, in addition to event fees, caddie service, honor signs, and community donations, was raised through raffle tickets, a 50/50 raffle, and silent auction. Our Golf Shop pros, Matt Hudson and Mike Karpe, and the event committee distributed the prizes, theme baskets, and art. Wise guy and haberdasher Mike Karpe noted how deliciously debonair Mike Goodwin looked as he modeled the yellow and blue sunflower hat he won, tying it all together with his pink golf ensemble.

Our event chair, Jacque Twitty, heartily thanked Sparkle and Splash, Margie and Dottie from Long Realty, and Ironwood Dermatology for sponsoring our caddie auction and tournament and for their generous donations. She praised her awesome committee, the Golf Shop staff, the servers and kitchen team, and Bill George, our honorary caddie and photographer, for their contributions in making this event such an enjoyable success. Every player went home a winner, with a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity to support a cause that has, or will, affect someone they love.

In closing, Jacque read the beautiful words from our t-shirts and reminded us, “There is a ‘can’ in cancer.” We can fight. We can survive. We can find a cure. A swing at a time, a dollar at a time, a day of research at a time—we support, admire, honor and hope.