For 14 years, the Annual Charity Golf Tournament hosted by Mike Navarre has raised money for a variety of local charities and scholarships. However, after one of the longest runs of any local tournament, the annual classic will head to the clubhouse for the final time Saturday at the Kenai Golf Course.
Ironically, the central peninsula is now host to golf tournaments nearly every weekend. That has meant local golfers have a variety of events to choose from, but the crowded field has made it tougher for Navarre's long-running event to continue.
"The tournament was one of the first tournaments started on the Kenai Peninsula, and now faces competition from a variety of tournaments and events which make it more difficult each year to line up sponsorships," Navarre said.
The tournament aims to go out with a bang.
"We're gearing up to make the 2003 tournament the best ever," Navarre said.
Expected again this year are a variety of top-flight prizes which have become a hallmark of the event. Past winners have taken home trips to Seattle, fly-in fishing getaways, custom-made golf clubs and fishing gear.
The tournament has used proceeds in past years to fund a wide variety of local charities, including the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Hospice of the Central Peninsula, Kenai Peninsula United Way and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Kenai Peninsula. Additionally, the tournament has awarded scholarships to local students through the Patrick M. O'Connell Memorial Scholarship Fund.
The 2003 Mike Navarre Charity Golf Classic will get under way Saturday. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with the golf to begin at 8 a.m. Entry fee is $75, and includes greens fees, food and beverages and prizes.
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