Brenda Johnson tees off Wednesday during the ninth annual Rally for the Cure breast cancer benefit golf event at the Yampa Valley Golf Course. Johnson's foursome - including Mary Nelson, Patty Bruchez and Christy Rolando - scored a 71 in the best ball scramble format and was the overall champion of the tournament.

Courtney Teeter

Brenda Johnson tees off Wednesday during the ninth annual Rally for the Cure breast cancer benefit golf event at the Yampa Valley Golf Course. Johnson's foursome - including Mary Nelson, Patty Bruchez and Christy Rolando - scored a 71 in the best ball scramble format and was the overall champion of the tournament.

Ladies Golf Association raises funds for breast cancer awareness

By the numbers

Money raised for cancer research by Yampa Valley Ladies Golf Association:

Total funds raised: $1,908

Funds for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Rally for the Cure: $920

Funds for Moffat County Cancer Society: $988

• For more information on Rally for the Cure at a national level, log on to www.rallyforthecu...>

— Fuschia. Magenta. Cerise.

These variants of the color pink, among others, were the chic fashion for the women participating in Wednesday's ninth annual Rally for the Cure golf tournament at the Yampa Valley Golf Course. Whether on their shirts, shorts, socks or hats, these women showed their support for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation by donning the organization's trademark color.

The tournament, hosted by the Yampa Valley Ladies Golf Association, began at 9 a.m. in a best ball scramble format, with the women split into smaller groups, each starting at a different tee.

YVLGA member and event organizer, Susan Utzinger, said the number of participating golfers - 46 - was the highest attendance the event has ever had.

"It was a very good turnout," she said. "We've got ladies with low handicaps, and some who only play once or twice a year, but they're all supportive and generous with our fundraiser. They come out because of our message about cancer, which affects everybody, and we even have some cancer survivors playing. It was a perfect day for it, too."

Much of the tournament took place beneath a cloudless sky. First-year participant Mae Palmer appreciated the sunny weather.

"It was a little hot, but it was fun," Palmer said.

Palmer - originally from Hayden, but vacationing from her current residence in England - enjoyed the day with her mother, Julie Grobe, of Hayden, sister, Kate, and friend, Sandra King.

"We shot an 84 as a group, which was probably one of the higher scores, but we all still had a good time," Palmer said.

After finishing their round, the women were treated to a Mexican lunch provided by the Tin Cup Grill, and a variety of free prizes - golf towels, stationery, hats and more - donated by Spirit Pass, Pepsi and Kyle Revelle, among others. Utzinger also raffled off two $100 bills and a purse and acknowledged team scores.

With a group score of 71, Mary Nelson, Brenda Johnson, Patty Bruchez and Christy Rolando were the overall champions. Nelson was glad to be able to play, still nursing an ankle she twisted three weeks ago on the 18th hole.

"It only affected my game a little bit," she said. "It just twinged a few times, and that was all."

A second-year participant, Nelson said the tournament is very valuable to the people of Craig because it helps raise breast cancer awareness for the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Moffat County Cancer Society.

"It's a very worthy cause," she said. "I'd like to see even more ladies playing next year, because we always want more. It's just a lot of fun."

Sisters Julie Baker and Terri Jourgensen have played in the tournament for eight years, but they now play in honor of their 93-year-old grandmother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago.

"It was great this year," Baker said. "It's always a beautifully organized tournament, and today was an extremely beautiful day to play some golf."

Jourgensen added that the two of them also love to meet up with the women who play in the tournament year after year.

By the end of the event, the YVLGA collected $1,908 for cancer research, including the $40 entrance fees and additional donations. The funds will be divided between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Moffat County Cancer Society.

Although the initial goal was $2,000, Utzinger said the amount and the tournament were "successful all the way."

"It really went great, and all the ladies had fun," she said. "Our goal every year is to get more women than the year before. Of course, we want to raise as much money as possible, but what we really want is to get more women involved."

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