CARLSBAD — Local golfers packed the La Costa Resort and Spa greens on July 23 for an afternoon tournament to raise scholarship money at the seventh annual Teens and Marines event.
Carlsbad’s Hi-Noon Rotary Club hosted the annual event that raises college scholarship money for outstanding Carlsbad students and returning military personnel. Over the past six years, they have raised more than $140,000 through this event alone.
“We choose not just great students, but great students that also do community service, because that’s what the Rotary Club is about,” Rotarian and tournament organizer Walt Waggener said.
The charity tournament also benefits soldiers returning from overseas tours. Through these scholarships, soldiers are able to attend MiraCosta College and get their feet on the ground, Waggener said.
“School is a really good starting point for them, but a lot of them don’t go because they can’t afford all the extra expenses, like books,” he said.
The golf tournament was held on La Costa’s South Course and included an 18-hole four-person scramble, where teams start off at different holes around the course, and a putting competition.
Funds were raised through golfer entry fees, an opportunity drawing and an evening banquet with special guest speaker Loreane Tomlinson, author of “LT and Me.” One hundred percent of the proceeds will be put toward the scholarship fund.
The drawing included many prizes donated by local businesses and organizations, with a grand prize of a 42-inch plasma TV. An added bonus was a convertible Lexus up for grabs to the golfer that scored a hole-in-one on the challenging course.
“A lot of people pulled together to make this happen,” Waggener said of the event and raffle prizes. “One of our members is good friends with Arnold Palmer and had him sign these prints just for our tournament.”
Although the Rotary’s tournament has been a success since its inception, they have faced a decrease in participation as the years go by. Event organizers have done what they can to ensure that guests not only help raise money, but also have a great time doing it.
“It’s been difficult the last couple of years because of the recession,” said Rotarian Pat Hurley, who was practicing his swing on the driving range before the tournament started. “But people know it’s for scholarships and come out and support us.”
Those Carlsbad Rotarians that weren’t competing in the tournament volunteered their time to staff the event.