Windermere-sponsored charity golf tourney benefits local people

Nihad Aweidah believes it takes giving of yourself to be a true part of the community you call home.

“You’re only as healthy as your community is,” the Central Beaverton resident says. “You don’t become a success by yourself. You become a success if everything around you is thriving and doing as well as you are.”

To fulfill his philosophy, Aweidah, a Realtor with the Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, has for the past four years taken it upon himself to coordinate a charitable golf tournament to raise money for low-income and homeless families in the Beaverton and Portland area. Sponsored by Windermere to benefit the Windermere Foundation, the tournament will be held in Aurora at Langdon Farms Golf Course, 24377 N.E. Airport Road, on Thursday, Aug. 15, with registration beginning at 11 SUBMITTED PHOTO - Nihad Aweidah, a Realtor with the Windermere Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, has for the past four years taken it upon himself to plan a charitable golf tournament to raise money for low-income and homeless families.

The registration fee is $145 for the event, which is open to the public and brings together Windermere Realtors and their clients who support the company’s community-oriented spirit, says Monica Komperda, a Windermere spokeswoman. Registration includes a box lunch, access to Langdon Farms’ driving range, greens fee, golf cart and a barbecue dinner.

Windermere, whose local office is located at 9755 S.W. Barnes Road, handles residential and commercial real estate transactions from 11 offices in Portland, Vancouver, Lake Oswego, West Linn and the northern Oregon coast.

Spearheaded by Aweidah, the annual tournament has raised nearly $70,000 for the Windermere Foundation over the past three years.

For every home that is bought or sold through Windermere, agents donate a portion of their commissions to the foundation. What started in 1989 as a grassroots foundation has grown to encompass 10 states and raised $25 million for programs and organizations that provide shelter, clothing, children’s programs, emergency assistance and other services to those who need our help most.

“This effort emulates the ‘Windermere Way’ of serving the community,” Komperda says, noting the foundation has raised more than $1 million in Oregon. “It is one of many events and campaigns that Windermere — along with its Realtors and staff — will launch throughout the year in support of the Windermere Foundation to benefit local low-income and homeless families.”

Aweidah, who got his feet wet organizing charitable events through involvement with the City Club of Portland, said he took the idea of a golf tournament to his boss, who encouraged him to make it happen.

“This is our fourth year, and the numbers are amazing,” says Aweidah, a Beaverton resident since 1984. “I did not think we would pull that kind of money. The agents and people who (work) with us, they were very supportive. Everybody circled the wagons and supported us for the whole thing.”

Aweidah, who as of Monday afternoon had slots for three teams of 12 players, said the tournament is spiced up by having contests for each of the 18 holes. In the putting contest, for example, prize money goes to those who can sink a shot in one, two or three tries. Windermere offers a combination of prize money for the winners, with a portion going to the foundation.

“There are contests on each hole,” Aweidah says. “You can buy as many holes as you want, and try to do it again and again. Most people in it are not in it to win a prize, but believe in the cause and what we’re doing it for. Last year’s winner, Al Jubitz, gave his $200 prize back to the foundation.”

The tournament, Aweidah emphasized, doesn’t discriminate based on one’s skill level on the links. Players from first timers to novices to experts are all welcome.

“Because it’s done for the families and the cause, we have all kinds of skill levels,” he says. “There’s a team this year that always comes back and invites their friends. When I talked to them two years ago, none of them had played before.”

Aweidah, who has been a Windermere Realtor since 1999, says he tries to enjoy the tournament, but usually gets pulled in many different directions.

“Even when I’m playing, someone will say, ‘Hey, I have this question or that question,’” he says. “Even when you’re in the tournament, there’s still a lot of running going on behind the scenes.”

Still, Aweidah manages to have fun with the event he conceived and brings to life each year.

“What I enjoy most is the fellowship with all the agents, the people and the clients,” he says. “It’s about remembering the community that defines you.”

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