|Giving with Golf - 2/15/07|
Giving with golf
By David Bolling
It is just over 7,100 yards from the first tee to the final hole at the Sonoma Golf Club, and each one of those yards is currently worth $140.84. Do the math and you come up with $1 million, which is approximately how much money the Sonoma course has generated for local charities through the annual Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Now entering its fifth year, the Charles Schwab Cup Championship has become both one of the premier golf events in Northern California and one of the leading sources of charity revenue in the Sonoma Valley.
And for golfers it's reassuring evidence that a bunch of older men, all over 50 and some - like Hale Irwin - over 60, can still punch a drive more than 350 yards down the fairway, putt less than 1.7 strokes per green and consistently card 18 holes in under 70.
The charity focus of the tournament has made a major difference for a wide range of organizations that together enrich the lives of hundreds of Valley residents.
Recipients of the 2006 tournament donations, which were handed out this week by tournament executive director Leon Gilmore, included Hanna Boys Center, Sonoma Valley Hospital, Young life (Sonoma Chapter), Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Common- Bond Foundation, Sonoma County Children's Charities, Valley of the Moon Boys & Girls Club, Twin Valley Aquatics, the First Tee of the North Bay, Habitat for Humanity and Valley of the Moon Children's Foundation.
Total contributions for 2006 brought the tournament's Sonoma Valley philanthropy over the million dollar mark. The money is a product not only of the tournament's generosity, but also of the extraordinary effort put in by scores of volunteers who staff the event each year and help it run smoothly during six days of golf.
Volunteer applications for the 2007 tournament will be available through the tournament office beginning in March. Dates for this year's event will be Oct. 22 through Oct. 28.
The Charles Schwab Cup Championship is a tremendous benefit to the Sonoma Valley and we applaud everyone involved.