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Drive to save Metro League golf starts now

Metro golf supporters seeking 500 Friends to save their sport


by: MILES VANCE - AIMING FOR MORE - Beaverton High sophomore Gigi Stoll, the 2011 6A state champion, is hoping for three more years of high school golf but needs the 500 Friends of BSD Golf project to succeed for that to happen.

Every great golf hole starts with a great drive.

The effort to save high school golf in the Beaverton School District is no different — its supporters are teeing off their endeavors with what they hope is a great drive to secure funding for 2013 and beyond.

In response to district-wide budget cuts that went into effect this fall and eliminated — among many other things — funding for high school golf, the Beaverton golf community has come to the rescue. Last summer when the scope of the cuts became clear, including elimination of support for high school golf, parents and golf coaches in the district came together to establish the Beaverton School District Golf Committee.

The BSD Golf Committee has met almost weekly since its inception, and from those meetings, a new project to secure funding for their sport was born — “500 Friends of BSD Golf.”

That group’s first priority is to raise the $46,000 it will take to pay for the upcoming Spring 2013 season. But its mission is greater than that too. Given the uncertainties of funding through the Beaverton School District, not just for 2012-13 but for years to come, 500 Friends of BSD Golf is aiming to raise enough money to cover the next three years of high school golf, for both boys and girls teams at Aloha, Beaverton, Southridge, Sunset and Westview high schools.

The project is more, however, than just the annual plea for money that comes from so many sources these days.

“It’s not actually a fund-raiser,” said Beaverton golf coach Brad Harvey, also the BSD Golf Committee chair. “

It’s actually a chance to be a part of something great. We’re saving a whole program.”

‘500’ DRIVE UNDERWAY

The idea behind the 500 Friends project is this: Every high school golfer in the Beaverton School District will seek to secure at least six “friends” of BSD Golf, donors who would be asked to give at least $50 each to support high school golf in the Beaverton School District.TEED OFF - The Beaverton School District Golf Committee, as represented in the group logo at left, is working to ensure that the Metro League will once again field varsity golf programs for 2013 and beyond.

That effort — securing a minimum of 500 donors who give a minimum of $50 each — would raise at least $25,000, and along with other funds already in hand, guarantee that the 2013 season would take place as scheduled. Ideally, the project will identify and involve far more than 500 participants, and raise far more than the minimum necessary for the 2013 spring season.

“It’s taken off like wildfire,” Harvey said. “We just need to get the word out.”

NIKE GOLF STEPS UP

As to those “other funds already in hand,” Nike Golf stepped up to donate $30,000 back in early June, a donation that kickstarted the fund-raising process and also demonstrated support for high school golf from the single biggest player in the local business community.

“Golf is sport and sport is essential for our youth today,” said Cindy Davis, President of Nike Golf. “We felt the need to step up in this time of financial difficulties. We want to support the schools where the families of our employees are most impacted and help ensure that golf will remain a competitive sport in our own back yard.”

“They’ve been fantastic,” said Sunset Athletic Director Pete Lukich, himself a former golf coach at Sunset and the district liaison to BSD Golf. “They came to us right at the beginning. They want to make sure we get to have high school golf.”

“When we heard (funding) would be cut, we wondered what would happen,” Harvey said. “But when Nike approached us, it was a shot in the arm that said ‘We believe in you. We think you can succeed.’”

Nike Golf is just one of the local businesses that has stepped up, though. Pacific Office Automation has donated all printing costs associated with the effort, while graphic designer Egan Selby donated his time to create the various logos and other elements that have helped move the process forward.

“Those three (Nike, Pacific Office Automation and Selby) have really stepped up,” Harvey said. “Nike Golf has been our partner right from the start. Pacific Office Automation said ‘Whatever you need, we’ll help with,’ and Selby has been great. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.”

The 500 Friends project kicked off last night with a meeting at Beaverton High School after the Valley Times’ press deadline, and marked the start of the three-week fund-raising process that closes on Oct. 17.

AIMING BEYOND 2013

While the immediate goal is to ensure the existence of the 2013 season, BSD Golf is aiming at even bigger goals, specifically, securing funding for the 2013-15 golf seasons for all 10 Beaverton School District teams. To do that, BSD Golf will need to raise a total of $138,000 ($46,000 per year for three years).

“The thing I’m really pleased with is that everyone is behind it. We really laid the groundwork (and) put a good plan in place,” Harvey said. The beauty of it is “it really gives people ownership of the thing. It’s a pride thing.”

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

Each year’s total goes to cover the following expenses: head coaching stipends for the district’s 10 coaches, $35,259; golf course fees, $13,150; substitutes for coaches who are teachers, $7,500; transportation, $5,000; contingency fees, $2,500; and state tournament fees, $1,900.

Those expenses total $65,309, but are offset by the $225 per player participation fee assessed to each player. If the district’s 10 teams include a total of at least 87 players, the money raised from participation fees means that the additional $46,000 per year will cover all remaining expenses.

At the end of the fund-raising process, the district’s players, coaches, parents, friends and supporters are invited to a celebration at 6 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike campus. That event, emceed by local television host Paul Linnman, will begin with a social hour, followed by a celebration presentation and speakers at 7 p.m. The goal, Lukich said, is to welcome as many as 500 people to the event.

To make a donation to "500 Friends of BSD Golf," go to www.savebsdgolf.com. For more information, contact Harvey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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