Yahoo Golf Tournament raises more than $15,000 for COMA
With the buzz of an airplane's propeller and the thud of 3,700 golf balls colliding with the greens, the 10th annual Yahoo Golf Tournament was opened.
On Saturday, the tournament, which benefits the Communities Overcoming Methamphetamine Abuse organization, brought more than 120 golfers to Yampa Valley Golf Course.
The tournament was started by Tom Knez as a way to honor his brother, Ralph.
"I was playing in my brother's honor when the golf pro at the time said 'There go the yahoos,'" Knez said. "Because a Yahoo is a gathering anyway, that's what we decided to call it."
The golf-ball drop, which features low-flying aircraft and different colored balls with corresponding participants, also was Knez's idea.
"The ball drop was added a few years ago," he said. "It's a neat way to raise money and sell tickets."
The balls landing closest to the 18th pin won a ticket holders a variety of prizes.
The Craig Daily Press claimed the first-place prize for the red ball drop, which was a 60-inch high-definition television.
Other winners included Byron Willems, who won a six-wheeler; Bill Terrill won a balloon ride; Kirk McKey won 75 pounds of ground beef, and Lonnie Kawcak had the red ball furthest from the pin, winning a grill.
Shane Kawcak won the white ball drop, winning a Weber grill.
Rich Griffin won a half of beef, Junior Kawcak won a whole lamb, Wagner Construction won 50 pounds of ground beef and Cleo Knez had the white ball furthest from the pin, winning a University of Colorado gift basket.
The money raised will be used by COMA for education and awareness of meth abuse, especially with teenagers.
Knez said the tournament has grown larger from year-to-year.
Dan Severson asked Knez if he could combine with the Yahoo to honor his father, Jim.
For Severson, whose father was an avid golfer, being on the greens is the right way to cherish his memory.
"A few years after Tom started the tournament, we decided to combine efforts," he said. "It's a good way to donate money to nonprofits."
Also growing through the years is the Yahoo Golf Tournament trophy, which, not unlike the Stanley Cup, adds the names of the winners to its base.
However, the names of Yahoo participants who have died are also added to the cup.
This year, Nick Bomba, Rich Padon, and Amber and Susan Nicholson will add their names to the winner's portion of the trophy.
Bomba and Padon shot 67, while the Nicholsons shot 66.
Severson said the tournament went a long way toward helping COMA.
"This year, we raised over $16,000," he said. "It was a really good year."
Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or email@example.com.