Summerfield golfers check is biggest one yet
Women's club donates $12,000 to Tigard Backpack Program
They did it!
At the Aug. 9 dinner celebrating the conclusion of the Summerfield Women's Golf Club's annual Charity Auction and Golf Tournament, it was hard to know who was more excited when the announcement was made that $12,000 had been raised: Tigard Backpack Program representatives or the golfers and their guests.
The club has donated about $10,000 for each of the past three years to the charity of its choice - the Good Neighbor Center in Tigard - and this year chose a new charity but kept the same fundraising goal.
Wendy Pfeifer was chairwoman of the golf tournament, and Darlene Taylor was chairwoman of the silent auction - both crucial elements of the fundraiser - and when Pfeifer pulled out the check, the Lakeside Room in the Summerfield Clubhouse exploded in applause.
The backpack program, which sends food home with qualifying students on Fridays, is run through the Tigard Police Department, and in attendance at the dinner were Charlie Sandbo, who has been running the backpack program as a volunteer since being laid off as the paid coordinator, and Jim Wolf, the police department's public information officer.
"I can tell you - several months ago when I received the phone call from Darlene inquiring about charities that the Tigard Police Department sponsors or supports, I came up with the backpack program," Wolf said. "We have many worthwhile programs that are supported through everyone's generosity and hard work and that help children in the community.
"But Darlene stopped me in my tracks when I mentioned the backpack program, and I gave her more information about it. (Police Chief) Al Orr is very committed to youth programs, and other cities around the area model their programs after ours. We are very proud of that and how our programs benefit youth."
Sandbo said, "I am so grateful to be here and appreciate the generosity of you residents. I grew up in Tigard, and out of every place I've been, I have never experienced a city with so much of a sense of community. Today you are ensuring the future of this program."
According to Sandbo, 29 percent of Oregon children have food insecurity.
"Seven out of 10 elementary schools (in the Tigard-Tualatin School District) had at least one-third of their students getting free or reduced-cost lunches," he said. "These kids go hungry on the weekends.
"The amount of money you have raised will help feed students when they go back to school. To me, this demonstrates that Tigard is a caring community. All the time I hear how the backpack program helps families, and I get thank you notes from students all the time. Some students are proud to bring food home to their families, and it helps them gain self-esteem."
According to Sandbo, during the last school year, the backpack program helped between 150 and 170 families per week and will be expanded to more schools this year.
In addition to the check, Summerfield residents filled a donation barrel with food, and Summerfield Retirement Estates contributed $1,000 toward the total.
Estates assistant manager Jeff Strahan said that the retirement home residents purchased 250 meal tickets to be used for their guests at the bargain price of $4 each.
"They wanted to support the backpack program and the Summerfield Women's Golf Club," Strahan said.
Taylor said, "(Sandbo and Wolf) can see we are an army of Summerfield residents not to be reckoned with."
Golf club President Jan Vanderpool thanked everyone for coming to the event and acknowledged Taylor and Pfeifer for their hard work.
Wolf said later, "What a terrific event. The culmination of the evening eclipsed the Olympics - what an incredible fundraiser. The Tigard community never ceases to amaze."
Every table at the dinner contained some thank you letters from Templeton Elementary students helped by the backpack program, cute spelling errors and all:
"Dear Officer Sandbow,
"I'm writing to thank you for backpacks and for bring kids food. It helped our school. You are nice because you cleaned our playground and you are also cool.
"Dear Backpack Program Helpers,
"Thank you for helping use. The Backpack Program is awasem for me because we always have food and my mom is always happy that we have enough food. Thank you for helping me and my family alot.
"Dear Backpack Program Helpers,
"Thank you for helping us. I like having food to preprave to my family.
"Dear Officer Sanbow,
"Thank you for the backpack. If the kids hs no mony, the can go to school and get the backpack for free.
"I'm writing to thank you for donating backpacks and for bringing food. It helps Templeton a lot.
"P.S. Have you erest people?"