Summerfield Women's Golf Club sets sights on new Tigard charity

Summerfield Women's Golf Club members are a little nervous as their annual Charity Golf Tournament and Silent Auction approaches - for the past three years, the event has raised about $10,000 each year - and they wonder if they can do it again.

This year, the board decided to support the Tigard Community Backpack Program, which through volunteers sends food home in backpacks with needy students every Friday of the school year.

Recently, Charlie Sandbo of the backpack program met at the Summerfield Clubhouse with Darlene Taylor, chairwoman of the silent auction, and Wendy Pfeifer, chairwoman of the golf tournament, to discuss the program.

"We started at Metzger Elementary about three years ago, and by this fall, we will cover eight of the 10 elementary schools in the district," Sandbo said. "We would like to have 10 of 10. Toward the end of the year, we were feeding 150 to 170 kids per week.

"We have had good partners - the Sunshine Division, King City Grocery Outlet, the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry. We need food donated as well as cash to purchase items."

The backpack program and others have been run under the auspices of the Tigard Police Department's Youth Programs Division, which was drastically curtailed by budget cuts when the fiscal year ended June 30. In fact, Sandbo's position was cut, but he is staying on as a volunteer.

"When I first heard about the budget cuts, I wondered what we would do," he said. "But we are still going. We are not going to say no to food and donations. It's been fun working on this program. I've never started a program from the ground up before."

Pfeifer told him, "It's truly troubling that programs were left hanging. What is most touching for us is that we forget how close we live to kids who are hungry. That's why we want to help."

Tyler said the idea for the golf club sponsoring the backpack program was one of several suggestions made by Jim Wolf, the police department's public information officer.

"When I heard about the backpack program, that was it," she said. "We're all grandparents, and we want to help kids."

How the public can get involved is by stopping and shopping at the silent auction Saturday, Aug. 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Summerfield Clubhouse, 10650 S.W. Summerfield Drive, off Durham Road.

Auction items will include theme baskets, jewelry, lots of gift cards to restaurants and other places, vacations at resorts around the country, gourmet meals, tickets to Portland Opera and Portland Center Stage productions, Broadway Rose theater tickets, sports equipment and rounds of golf at different clubs.

Some people and organizations are donating cash to the charity, including residents and Summerfield Retirement Estates, which is selling meal tickets that residents purchase for their guests at reduced prices, with all the money going to the charity.

"They have told us they hope to donate $1,000," Taylor said.

The best-ball scramble golf tournament on Aug. 9 is limited to Summerfield residents, according to Pfeifer. Residents pay to play and for the dinner that follows. In addition, players can purchase two "miracle" putts, and local businesses are tee sponsors, which all adds more funds for the cause.

Club members are keeping their fingers crossed that the grand total will be somewhere in the $10,000 range.

Charity event organizers hope that not just Summerfield residents but also those who live throughout Tigard will support the charity auction by stopping by and possibly bidding on an item or two.

A check will be presented to Sandbo at the dinner following the golf tournament.

For more information, call the Summerfield Clubhouse at 503-620-0131 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon.

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