After a year without fundraising events, the Oro Valley Optimist Club plans to bring back their “Scramble for Youth” golf fundraiser at Marana’s Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain’s Golf Club on Saturday, May 1. Through the event, the OVOC hopes to raise money for the youth services they offer to kids from the communities of northwest Tucson.
The “Scramble for Youth” is the OVOC’s primary fundraising event. Players of any age can participate in the 18-hole golf scramble as a part of a team of four. In addition to the scramble, players will compete in a “longest drive” and a “closest to the pin” competition. The contests will talk place on the same course used for the PGA’s World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play tournament.
“It’s amazingly fun,” said Kara Riley, the president of the OVOC and the chief of the Oro Valley Police Department. “It’s a beautiful course, and it’s really nice to be able to have that opportunity to be with people who have that like goal of wanting to raise money for our children.”
The OVOC, a local nonprofit organization, has been working to promote health and positive citizenship in the youth of northwest Pima County since 2002. They facilitate 12 youth groups and a variety of community service projects in collaboration with the Amphitheater Unified School District, the Oro Valley Police Department and other community partners.
The group created the “Scramble for Youth” back in 2002 to come up with the funds to support their programs. Some of the programs they offer include Project Graduation, the Police Explorers, Camp Fury, Dispose-A-Med and a drug awareness day for all of the 5th graders in AUSD. The OVOC also provides in-need students with college scholarship opportunities.
“We weren’t able to do any fundraising last year because of COVID,” Riley said. “So we’re certainly hoping that we have more success this year to be able to give back even more to our community and the northwest side of Pima County.”
Not only was the OVOC not able to raise any money last year, they also couldn’t host any of their usual events for kids in the community. This year, the OVOC has committed to hosting Project Graduation, a drug-free, alcohol-free event for seniors from Amphitheater, Ironwood Ridge and Canyon del Oro high schools. During the event, graduating seniors get to celebrate with their classmates on campus during an overnight party.
The 2021 “Scramble for Youth” will look a bit different this year due to COVID. Typically, the scramble includes a dinner and an award ceremony that takes places after the event. This year, winners will be announced virtually, and their trophies will be shipped to them in the mail. Additionally, event organizers are encouraging participants to register for the event online in order to promote social distancing.
For those who do not register online, in-person registration for the event will begin at 10 a.m. on May 1. The scramble itself will have a “shotgun” start at noon.
“The event is really important because we are able to raise these extra funds for our kids,” Riley said. “We have children in our community who are so much in need. And certainly, during these times with COVID, there’s even more need.”
The event costs $135 per person to register. The registration fee includes the green fee, the on-course contests and a boxed lunch. Participants can also purchase raffle tickets to win “premium baskets” valued at $150 to $300. All of the funds raised at the event will go directly to the OVOC’s youth and community service programs.
For more information and to register visit orovalleyoptimist.com/scramble-for-youth/