Utah National Guard Tees Off

for Special Olympics Utah


By Shad West

Published July 31, 2007


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Photo by Shad West

Bruce Christensen, President of KSL, takes a practice swing during the Special Olympics Benefit Golf Tournament at Hill Air Force Base.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE More than 140 golfers teed off in a best ball, scramble start tournament here in support of Utah’s Special Olympics athletes.

The Special Olympics Benefit Golf Tournament was presented by the Utah National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters and held at the Hubbard Golf Course July 27. 

This was the 13th year for the National Guard sponsored event that began in humble beginnings with only the 115th Engineers sponsoring it. Throughout the years the tournament grew in popularity and this year it raised $5625.00 for Utah Special Olympics.

What makes a tournament successful? It could be the date, or the venue, or the format. Or it could be the organization that benefits from the event.

Sergeant First Class Steven McKinnon, JFHQ Supply, served as tournament chair.

“This is an overall great event for Special Olympics and the participants,” McKinnon said. “We have some outstanding support from sponsors who have donated some wonderful prizes.”

Photo by Shad West

Golfers pose with the Hooters Girls who have participated

in the tournament for several years and gave away Frisbees,

coupons for free food and other items during the day.

On select par three holes golfers had an opportunity to win a Chevrolet Corvette donated by Larry H. Miller, a $10,000 cash prize and a seven day Royal Caribbean Cruise if they could hit a hole in one.

JD Donnelly, President and CEO of Special Olympics Utah praised the support of the Utah National Guard.

“The Guard has been incredible with Special Olympics,” Donnelly said. “The neat part is that this isn’t just a fundraiser, we have some of our athletes come out and play with the golfers during this tournament. Airmen and Soldiers have been wonderful friends of our athletes and become unified partners with them and come out to volunteer and support other events.” 

The tournament has always been held on Hill Air Force Base and playing the Hubbard Golf Course adds to the buzz about the tournament.

“Having a great facility like this is a great draw for golfers who wouldn’t normally get to play here,” McKinnon said. “Hill has been an outstanding host for the event and they help make it a success.”

Money raised during this tournament will be used to support the 2007 Special Olympics Golf Championship, September 7 and 8 which will be held in Salt Lake City at Rose Park and Jordan River Golf Courses.

Photo by Shad West

The tournament was a best ball format and

golfers  took turns putting from the best lie.

Photo by Shad West

Special Olympics Utah President and CEO JD Donnelly takes a moment to pose for a photo with a Special Olympics athlete.
























Photo by ShadWest

A participant is all smiles after an impressive tee shot. 

The tournament raised over $5,000 for Special Olympics Utah.

Photo by Shad West

The Tournament isn’t just a fundraiser, some Special Olympics

athletes joined in for a round of golf with participants.