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Tournament honors Oliphant's legacy

When golfers tee off on June 27, they'll be paying tribute to a man who worked tirelessly to make LO a better place


REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - The Dedication Stone was established at the first Oliphant Community Golf Tournament in 2014. Helping to carry on the tradition are Tom Mueller (from left), Beth Oliphant Hoover and Michael Harper.Players and sponsors have signed up early and often for the second-annual Oliphant Community Golf Tournament, which will pay tribute next week to a man whose unwavering commitment to community service improved life throughout Lake Oswego.

Doug Oliphant, who died of cancer in May 2014, was an ongoing ambassador for the Municipal Golf Course where the tournament will be held on June 27. The 18-hole, four-player shamble is set to kick off at 1 p.m. — and it’s already sold out.

“This is a tremendous effort by all of his friends,” says Beth Oliphant Hoover, one of the event’s organizers and Oliphant’s daughter. “It’s not a memorial tournament, but a community tournament. I don’t want to put my dad up as an idol. But I do want his example to be a model.”

Doug Oliphant was involved in a variety of charities and community improvement programs, including Donate Life NW, Your Everyday Cross Ministries, the Adult Community Center and the Lakewood Center for the Arts. It was his inspiration and perseverance that brought hanging flower baskets to life in Lake Oswego 25 years ago, and he received the Bob Bigelow Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for his efforts.

“Doug was one of the most philanthropic people I’ve ever known and one of the most spiritual people I have ever known,” says Michael Harper, one of Oliphant’s longtime friends and another tournament organizer. “Doug never met a stranger. He was just a wonderful guy.”

Harper met Oliphant for the first time 11 years ago at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. When Oliphant learned that Harper was also a resident of Lake Oswego, he launched into a sales job that convinced Harper to join the Fores Club, a merry band of golfers who gathered weekly at the Municipal Golf Course.

“Because of Doug, I became deeply involved in the horrible game of golf,” Harper says, and it was Oliphant’s love of the game that convinced his family and friends to organize a golf tournament in his honor.

“The first one had a very tight window,” Harper said. “If not for Doug’s commitment to the community, we wouldn’t have sold it out.”

This year’s tournament also quickly sold out. “We’ve already filled the field (72 golfers),” Harper says, “and sponsors are still coming in.”

Tom Mueller, who is also helping to organize the event, says “the bar has really been raised from what we imagined.” That means there will be lots of money for this year’s charity recipients: Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, Donate Life NW and Lakewood Center for the Arts.

“With success, we’ll go on and on, helping new charities every year,” Hoover said. “We’re just a rag-tag group of people who wanted to make this happen. We’ve poured a tremendous amount of time into this. But my dad poured out so much for this city.”

For more about the 2015 Oliphant Community Golf Tournament or to donate to the event, go to www.theoliphant.org.

Contact Cliff Newell at 503-636-1281 ext. 105 or cnewell@lakeoswegoreview.com.

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