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CFVH Foundation holds benefit tourney

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

by Alex Violo, Clark Fork Valley Press

A group of golfers took some time out of their Labor Day weekends to contribute to the community at the Wild Horse Plains Golf Course.

The public course served host to the seventh annual Clark Fork Valley Hospital Foundation Benefit Golf Tournament on Sunday, Aug. 31.

The rain held off for the majority of the round as golfers competed in the 18-hole tournament throughout the day.

According to Executive Director of the Clark Fork Valley Hospital Foundation, Barry Fowler, the benefit tournament brings in anywhere from $7,500 to $12,000 each year.

Fowler said the number of participants in the tournament varies from year to year and this year 43 golfers were on hand to partake in the benefit.

Fowler added in past years the tournament had attracted as many as 74 golfers for the weekend event.

Each year the money raised by the hospital foundation is put towards various projects at the area hospital.

"This year we will use the funds to refurbish our training center," Fowler said.

Currently the building is used as an auxiliary annex facility and with the refurbishments Fowler hopes CFVH will make the facility a comfortable location to host a variety of events and community activities.

According to Fowler, in past years money from the golf tournament had gone towards purchasing a cook stove and two years ago the money raised by the foundation went towards beginning a pulmonary rehabilitation program.

Funds have also gone towards purchasing exercise equipment, which Fowler notes was a popular addition.

"The equipment has helped a lot of people in the community," Fowler said.

The late summer tournament is one of two benefits hosted by the CFVH during the year.

The other fundraiser, a dinner gala, is held earlier in the year and takes place in the pavilion at the Sanders County Fairgrounds.

Fowler noted the golf tournament attracts a bit more sponsorship from local businesses than the gala event since it has been going on for a longer period of time.

"Because the golf tournament has been running longer, it is a little more established," Fowler said.

Nonetheless, the gala and the golf tournament are each important to the fundraising efforts of CFVH.

The money raised by both of these events is critical to maintain the quality of local healthcare at the hospital, while working to form a community connection between the hospital, local businesses and the community.

A number of prizes were up for grabs in last weekend's tournament, including $10,000 in cash if a golfer could manage a hole in one on the course's par three third hold.

Fowler said one competitor stuck his tee shot within six feet of the pin but no one took home the grand prize.

Other prizes included vouchers for services at CFVH, a Callaway golf gift set, a putter and a couple of pitching wedges.

The tournament employed a Florida scramble format, which differs slightly from traditional best ball scrambles.

In the Florida format teams still play their collective best shot, but the golfer who hit the previous shot, for example the long drive, holds off for the second round of shooting.

Additionally, the format requires teams to use at least one drive from each player during the course of the 18-hole round.

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