Over 140 golfers teed off at the 39th annual Santa Clara PAL Golf Tournament, hosted at the Almaden Golf and Country Club Monday, August 15.
Hoping to raise as much as last year, the goal this year was to bring in $100,000, with all of the proceeds going to PAL athletic programs. The money helps pay for the programs’ facilities, equipment and insurance.
“This is our biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Dan Racimo, a Santa Clara PAL board member. “What this does is helps us make Santa Clara a better community by creating positive activities for our local youth.”
Since PAL employs just one part-time paid employee in the office, Racimo says all of the money raised by every fundraiser, such as the golf tournament, goes straight into the athletic programs.
There was an entrance fee of $225 for each of the golfers, who competed in groups of four. The participants played in various events throughout the day for cash prizes, including putting and longest drive competitions. There was also a hole-in-one contest, where any golfer able to shoot a hole-in-one on the 13th hole would win a 2016 Chevy Camaro donated by the Del Grande Dealer Group.
Thanks to tournament host and ex-49er Eric Wright, the four San Francisco 49ers super bowl trophies were on display at the tournament. Fans had the chance to take pictures in front of the trophies with retired 49ers, such as Wright, Hall of Famer Charles Haley and John Taylor.
The tournament also featured a silent auction, where players could bid on prizes such as sports memorabilia from bay-area teams, like the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco Giants. In addition, golfers were also able bid for a chance to play the tournament alongside former professional athletes, such Wright, Taylor, Vida Blue and Steve Bono.
Over $40,000 was brought in from corporate sponsors alone. Southwest Steel received “Platinum Sponsor” status by donating $10,000 to the event while nine other companies donated $5,000.
This year was 39th year of the fundraiser. Board Member Allen Everett has been golfing at the tournament since its earlier days. He says when the tournament began in the late 1970s, there were over 200 golfers that filled up two courses. Although there had been a lack in participation in previous years, he says the tournament coordinators this year did a great job organizing the tournament and bringing in many golfers to fill the slots.
“This is our biggest year in several years,” said Everett. This year, PAL hit a maximum of 144 golfers.
Santa Clara PAL was founded in 1970 with a mission to bring the community and police force together. Since then, they have offered a range of activities such as softball, soccer, boxing and BMX, trusting that participation in sports leads to a child’s individual growth and success. The organization relies strictly on individual and corporate donations to keep the programs going.