Nov. 17, 2005
PULLMAN, Wash. - Learning the true meaning of generosity was just a bonus for the 10 Washington State golfers who traveled to Seattle, Wash., Oct. 30, to take part in the "Golf for the Gulf" charity event sponsored by the Seattle based golf radio show "Tee It Up" on KJR Sports Talk 950AM.
The Cougars volunteered as caddies for the event, which raised $8,500 for the Rural Health Clinic of Bayou Le Batre, Ala. The clinic, located just 27 miles south of Mobile, Ala., was wiped out when Hurricane Katrina sent a 25-foot storm surge through Bayou Le Batre. The proceeds from the tournament went directly to the health clinic's restoration efforts.
The 10 Cougars who made the trek over the mountains included Jessica Black, Tracy Broders, Cole Alfrod, Kevin Chen, Amy Eneroth, Brook Henderson, Anastasia Kostina, Jeff Langin, Max Reinland, and assistant coach Kari Sampson. Washington State joined up with golfers from the University of Washington and a few local high school golfers for the event. As caddies, the team was able to share some of their golf knowledge with the tournament participants.
"Caddying is important to the game and it was good to be part of giving back to the victims of Hurricane Katrina," Chen said. "It was also a good experience to see the other side and see how fortunate we are to be able to play."
"The experience was really fun. The people that we got set up with were Cougar fans...well if they weren't then, they will be now," Broders laughed. "It was nice to know that we were doing it for a good cause. Just knowing that I put money toward the hurricane relief means a lot to me."
As a team, the Cougars brought a $1,000 donation to the tournament just for showing up. A local Seattle man was so moved by the team's efforts to come over the mountains that he donated $100 for every Cougar who made the trip.
"It was a huge success for our team. Both Coach (Walt) Williams and myself both believe that there are bigger things in life and were glad we could point that out to some of our players," Sampson said.
Despite organizers having only three weeks to put together the event, 92 golfers turned out and the average donation per person came out to about $92. Along with the $100 entry fee, there was a raffle and an auction with proceeds also going toward the cause. "Tee it Up" hosts Jim Corbett and Corky Frady are also looking into organizing another "Golf for the Gulf" event in the spring.