Benefit golf event pits mayors against mayors

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2001

Kenai Peninsula mayors -- past and present -- are taking a swing at housing needs on Saturday.

The second annual Mayors' Cup Invitational Golf Tournament kicks off at 10 a.m. at the Birch Ridge Golf Course, on the Sterling Highway north of Soldotna. Proceeds from the event will benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley is sponsoring this year's event. Joining Bagley in the competition are Soldotna Mayor Dave Carey, Kenai Mayor John Williams, Homer Mayor Jack Cushing, former borough mayors Mike Navarre and Don Gilman and former Soldotna mayors Ken Lancaster, Gary Davis and Dolly Farnsworth.

Tom Walsh, head golf professional at Birch Ridge, said he is looking forward to the event.

"It'll mostly be fun," Walsh said. "But it's for a good cause."

Tournament organizer Holly Montague, with the borough's legal department and also a board member of Habitat for Humanity, has been busy coordinating participation by Birch Ridge, a number of sponsors and "nagging the mayors to put their teams together." The dollar goal for this year's event is $3,000, which will help Habitat fulfill its function of building "simple, decent housing for people in need."

"It'll be a lot of fun," Montague said, "That's the whole point of fund-raisers -- you want people to have a lot of fun so they're willing to do it again."

Beverly Dove, of Mayor Bagley's office, has been helping Montague organize the tournament.

"We're talking some serious local golfers," Dove said. "Mayor Gilman is the defending champion. He put together a team this year that may be the team to beat. Mayor Williams has put together a strong team, as well. There's going to be some really good competition."

Dove, who said she anticipated the $3,000 goal would be met, will be cooking hamburgers and hot dogs for the hard-working golfers on Saturday.

Sponsorships from area businesses are helping ensure the golfers reach their financial target. To be a "whole sponsor" for the tournament requires a donation of $75, according to Dove.

"Hutchings and Kenai Chrysler have gone above and beyond that," Dove said of the generosity of two businesses.

Shawn Hutchings, of Glacier Buick, said Hutchings Chevrolet Store is sponsoring one of the course's nine holes. Glacier Buick is sponsoring Farnsworth's team and has put up a 2001 Buick Century as a hole-in-one prize.

"We had an opportunity to give away a car four years go -- a 1996 Buick Riviera," Hutchings said. "It would be great to see someone win the Century this weekend."

Bob Favretto, of Kenai Chrysler, said his wife, Laura, is the treasurer for Habitat for Humanity.

"She gives a lot of time to that organization, and I give a lot of money," he said. "(The tournament) is a worthwhile undertaking. It'll be fun for the mayors and the community."

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