Optimists plan golf tourney
courtesy of the Oro Valley Optimist Club, BHP Billiton has given $5,000 to the Oro Valley Optimist Club as the exclusive underwriting sponsor for the 2008 Scramble for Youth golf tournament on Sept. 12. Club president Don Cox, left, and tournament chairman Mike Wilson, right, accepted the gift from Lynn Feldt, administrative coordinator for BHP Copper’s southwest copper operation; Ben Wichers, president of BHP Copper; and Dave Palmer, vice president of administration.

Golfers are needed for the Oro Valley Optimist Club’s 2008 “Scramble for Youth,” the Sept. 12 fund raiser that generates money for youth activities and organizations.

Scramble for Youth is the Optimist Club’s lone annual fund-raising event. It is held at the El Conquistador Country Club on La Cañada in Oro Valley.

Registration opens at 11 a.m. that Friday. There is a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.

Golfers can win raffle prizes, and they get a shot at a Lexus, a Cadillac and a golf cart on the Elk Conquistador’s three par-3 holes. Aces are worth a 2008 Cadillac CTS from Don Mackey Cadillac, a golf cart from Coyote Golf Cars, and a 2008 Lexus from Lexus of Tucson.

Hors d’oeuvres are served after the tournament.

Entries are $125 per person, or $500 for a four-member team. Checks and registration information may be sent to the Oro Valley Optimist Club, Box 68075, Oro Valley, AZ 85737.

A number of sponsorships are needed from supporting businesses. Sponsorship commitments are due by Aug. 15. People may call Don Cox at 918-8888 or Mike Wilson at 918-7467 for sponsorship information.

Mike Wilson is the tournament director. Dan Marries of KOLD and the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council are assisting with the scramble.

The annual tournament has generated as much as $17,000 for youth causes, club president Don Cox said. In years past, funds have gone to Camp Abilities, a local camp for physically and mentally challenged children; Youth on Their Own, an organization that supports displaced youth who sign a pledge to finish high school; Project Graduation, the annual post-graduation party for high school seniors; and an Optimist fund to support Arizona children with cancer.

“We honor eight outstanding students from the four Oro Valley high schools as students of the month,” Cox said. Students from Canyon Del Oro, Ironwood Ridge, Pusch Ridge Christian Academy and Immaculate Heart schools are recognized.

The Optimist Club also volunteers to clean the block of La Cañada from Lambert to Naranja.

The Oro Valley Optimist Club meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at noon at the El Conquistador Country Club. The organization is dedicated to “bringing out the best in kids.”

BHP gift

BHP Billiton has given $5,000 to the Oro Valley Optimist Club for its September benefit golf tournament.

Ben Wichers, president of BHP’s southwest copper operation in Tucson, gave the award at a recent Optimist meeting.

“We feel a responsibility to contribute to the communities in which we operate,” Wichers said. “We know the funds go to some phenomenal projects.”

“You’ve just been great,” Optimist president Don Cox said.

BHP Billiton is the successor to what was once called Magna Copper. When copper prices reached record lows in the late 1990s, BHP Billiton “closed essentially all of our operations in Arizona,” Wichers said.

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