Story By: Larry Kline
Women along the Hi-Line will get an extra helping hand this year, thanks to some Havre ladies. Members of the Beaver Creek Ladies Golf League are putting together the first Women Fighting Breast Cancer charity golf tournament, which will be held June 25 at the Beaver Creek Golf Course.
The tournament is modeled after the Hi-Line Women Against Breast Cancer event held in Shelby every year, which raises money through entry fees, donations and a caddie auction.
The proceeds from the Havre tournament will be combined with the money raised in Shelby to benefit women who are battling breast cancer all along the Hi-Line.
"We all know somebody who's had breast cancer or is fighting breast cancer now," league member Becky Wimmer said. "This money goes to local ladies to use however they need it. We want to help however we can."
The money raised can be used by area women to cover the expenses associated with travel, prostheses, day care, second opinions or other financial needs, league member Anna Toner said.
"Every dime stays local," league member Bonnie Fladager said. "The money is used for anything that local women need. It is such a crisis on the Hi-Line. We have so many women that are struggling with it."
Toner and other Havre league golfers have participated in the Shelby tournament for several years.
"The tournament in Shelby has been so successful, we thought we could get the same kind of success here in Havre," Toner said.
"The whole league decided to do this tournament," she added. "The community is to be commended for their generosity. We haven't had anyone turn us down when we requested a donation."
Tina Wood, a Hi-Line Women Against Breast Cancer board member, said it's great that another tournament has been organized to help local women. The Shelby tournament, scheduled for July 30 at the Marias Valley Country Club, is no longer accepting applications for participants. The rolls were filled in one day, Wood said.
"This will increase the money we can use on the Hi-Line and broadens the span of people who know about it," she said.
This year's Shelby tournament is the fifth annual event, and last year's tourney raised about $20,000, Wood said.
Fladager said she has gone to the Shelby tournament for the last three years in support of a good friend who is a breast cancer survivor. She recently had a scare herself, but luckily everything turned out OK.
"It hits pretty close to home," she said. "This disease affects everybody one way or another. Everyone can say that they've been affected, whether they've had a mother, a cousin, a spouse or a grandmother with breast cancer."
The Women Fighting Breast Cancer tournament is open to women in three-member teams, Wimmer said. The team entry fee is $150, which includes green fees and a cart. The entry list will be limited to 36 teams, and the deadline is June 10.
The weekend will kick off with a caddie auction June 24 at the Havre Elks Club. The group is still looking for volunteers, Toner said. So far, 10 men have volunteered, and the group would like to have at least 18 caddies.
The group is still looking for hole sponsors and donations of pin and door prizes, Wimmer said.
Pink flags will be available for $5 each and will be displayed on the course during the tournament. The flags may be dedicated to a woman who is struggling with breast cancer or to the memory of one who has lost the battle.
Toner is encouraging people to attend or volunteer what they can.
"It's a good cause, and it's a fun tournament," she said. "It's not about winning. It's about trying to help other people."
For entry forms or information on how to sponsor, volunteer or donate, contact Wimmer at 262-3035 or Toner at 390-1906. Forms may also be picked up at Beaver Creek Golf Course. The Shelby tournament is still looking for sponsors and volunteers. Contact Jan Nelson at (406) 759-5497.