The 4th Annual Archbishop’s Golf Tournament for Seminarian Formation gathered a total of 49 golfers on August 26 at Moose Run Golf Course, a course run by the JBER community just northwest of Anchorage. All proceeds generated by this fund support our current and future seminarians in their education and formation as they prepare to serve our local Church.
The Archbishop’s Golf Tournament has a few unique perks that set it apart from other tourney benefit events. Seminarian Madison Hayes greeted golfers throughout the morning, and transitional deacon Kevin Klump offered to tee off and “turn a Par 5 into a Par 4” for a $10 donation on the 13th hole. At the top of Hole 7, golfers took selfies with Pope Francis—or at least a cardboard cutout likeness of him. In addition, participants were invited to purchase “Divine Intervention” golf aids, such as mulligans, putting string, and “holy hand grenades” to improve their final score.
Approximately 20 community organizations, businesses, and parishes supported the tournament through hole sponsorships and in-kind gifts for each golfer’s goodie bags, including amenities such as snacks, hand sanitizer, and a mask. “We all had a wonderful time,” said Mardy Lower, golfer and committee member. “Everything ran smoothly from the check in to the meal on the deck. It was a great tournament!” The golf committee, spearheaded by the Office of Stewardship & Development, moved the event from June to August to accommodate COVID-19 regulations.
“Our golf committee had a steady course sailing throughout the months amidst the COVID-19 threat until the final day of the tournament,” said Fr. Luz Flores, golfer and committee member. The outdoor, distanced nature of golf worked well to accommodate social distancing regulations, as golfers were asked to maintain distance throughout the event, and tee times were staggered every 10 minutes over several hours. The luncheon became a grab-and-go meal provided by the course, and the awards ceremony was converted to a golfer appreciation video. The video greeting from Bishop Andrew Bellisario, C.M., including a montage of participant photos, is available on the Archdiocesan website and social media.
Moose Run’s digital scoreboard app allowed teams to track their score from their phone, and the live updates encouraged friendly competition. The 2019 champion team “BDO Anchorage,” made of members Matthew Holta, James Doughty, Denise Singery, and Mike Hutson, placed 2nd in this year’s tournament. They were out-golfed by a single stroke by team “Austin Tee Party,” comprised of Theresa Austin, Rene Chrystal, Jason Miller, and Mike Fournier. The third place team, “ARIRANG,” included golfers Andrew Kwon, Charles An, Yong Piening, and John Lee. The Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin challenges were won by Yong Piening, Rene Chrystal, and Bill Arnold.
With all the ups and downs of planning during a pandemic, Fr. Flores was “recruited” to pray for special “divine intervention” for good weather during the tournament. He invited his mother and several other community members to pray, as well. “Mom didn’t know what a golf tournament is, but she prayed just the same! Our Native ministry group did ask for divine intervention too! Bless their hearts,” said Fr. Flores. “I am looking forward to next year’s event!”
If you are interested in joining the golf committee to help plan next year’s 5th Anniversary event, contact Laurie Evans-Dinneen, director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (907) 297-7789.