Contact: Mardi Ford
Golfers from Union County and beyond swung into action recently to show support of the Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation in the13th Annual Grande Ronde Amateur Golf Tournament. This year’s event, sponsored by Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Eastern Oregon and Legacy Ford, set a new record, said Meredith Lair, foundation specialist at Grande Ronde Hospital. More than $19,000 was raised by the golf tournament and benefit auction, Lair said. This year provided a change in venue for guests as they dined and bid under a large tent, provided by Eastern Oregon Rental and Sales, that was set-up behind the La Grande Country Club. “Everyone was in one space with the idea of supporting the Foundation as their top priority,” said Jeff Allen tournament chair. Proceeds will help fund a Minimally Invasive Surgical (MIS) suite - a high tech, highly efficient operating room, which will allow doctors and nurses closer and better access to view procedures. With an anticipated cost of $210,000, the Foundation hopes to have the suite ready for patients by late fall. Each year the event gets bigger and better, Lair said, with golfers traveling from Idaho, Washington and Oregon to participate in the tournament, said Lair. Ninety-six players competed in this year’s event. Winners of the 13th Annual Tournament were Brian Bell of La Grande who shot a 146 and six-time tournament champ, Beccy Kramer of Imbler who shot a 168. The winners of the Sunday sole-survivor round was the team of Brian Bell and Alan Mendenhall. A variety of things contributed to the success of the tournament, said foundation board member Gary Lee of La Grande. “If it wasn’t for our sponsors it would be hard for us to put on such a great tournament,” he said, adding that the Foundation staff were instrumental in all of the behind the scenes work that made the tournament, dinner and auction flow smooth. Lee has been involved with the tournament for all of its 13 years. The three-day event ran September 14 to 16, at the Grande Ronde Country Club in Island City.