Y golf tourney is a big draw

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By Mike Cote

The Family YMCA of Los Alamos will host one of its biggest fundraising events of the season this weekend.
The Ed Griggs Memorial Strong Kids Golf Classic will be played at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Interested players still have time to sign-up for the event, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.
The tournament, now in its fourth year, is scramble format and players can register individually or as a team. Registration is open through Friday at the YMCA.
In 2012, the YMCA raised approximately $17,000 with the tournament, which attracted more than 100 players.
Linda Daly, the CEO of the Family YMCA, said 174 individuals, including 80 kids, directly benefited from the Strong Kids program. Approximately $120,000 was used to subsidize activities for underprivileged individuals.
This year, Daly, said, the need is greater. The YMCA wants to raise $130,000 to benefit individuals, including those who use the Española Tennis Center and other YMCA programs, but fundraising has been lagging.
“We’re hoping for a strong turnout,” Daly said. “We feel very blessed all our major sponsors came back this year…and we actually gained a few more tee box sponsors.
Last year, the event was dedicated as the Ed Griggs Memorial to honor the memory of Griggs, longtime golfer and community volunteer. Griggs, who was both an avid player and an avid gardener, was commemorated with a plaque placed in the flowers planted near the third tee box.
Griggs was also a longtime volunteer at the YMCA and organizers felt it was important to honor his many contributions.
One of the big draws to the tournament — which as of Wednesday morning had 15 full teams signed up — is the prizes available. The grand prize is a new Subaru for anyone who can score a hole-in-one on the No. 15 hole.
Daly said more than $40,000 in prizes is available. For the post-tournament raffle, players can win extra drawings by sinking a shot on a portable basketball hoop or scoring a soccer goal at certain tee boxes, among other chances.
While there is plenty of fun and games at the tournament, Daly said the most important thing is to remember those whom the tournament benefits.
“Our Strong Kids support campaign helps those who can’t afford access to the Y’s programs,” she said. “We have the largest after-school program in the county, as well as the summer camp. It helps those who need financial aid.”