An upcoming golf tournament hosted at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa will raise funds to support a local children’s home that has helped more than 1,500 kids in its almost 60 years of existence.
Scheduled for Nov. 22, the 16th annual Shootout for Sunshine is a four-person scramble with shotgun start times scheduled for 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Beyond the usual four-person scramble are a slew of activities that include dinner catered by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, an auction and awards doled out after a day of golf.
Tournament director Tom Sitzman said the organizers usually aim to raise approximately $100,000 from the event, although the closest they’ve gotten to that target figure is a little more than $73,000. Any amount raised from the tournament will go to support Sunshine Acres — a Christian children’s home open since 1954 that houses 70 children at a time. During the last 59 years, more than 1,600 children between the ages of 5 and 18 have called Sunshine Acres home.
The tournament has supported Sunshine Acres since it started 16 years ago, and it was the reason Sitzman said the organizers spent six years prior to that raising funds for the home through a running event. The run/walk race, however, didn’t raise a large amount of money, so Sitzman said the organizers opted to transition to a golf tournament.
“It started small and we gradually grew it,” he said.
The growth has continued throughout the last decade and a half, even during the heart of the economic slowdown that might have dissuaded people from playing. Sitzman contributed the continuity to a loyal batch of duffers who have a difficult time staying off the course every year.
“We’ve got a really good following; a lot of people who played previously have come back to play,” he said.
One of the little details that might attract participants is the connection between the tournament and Sunshine Acres, as Sitzman said residents of the home are involved directly with the tournament during the dinner and even as entertainment via the Sunshine Acres’ choir.
It doesn’t provide a direct tie between Sunshine Acres and the Shootout for Sunshine — Sitzman said the best way to get a feel of what the home does is to take a tour of the Mesa facility — but it at least shows the golfers what they’re supporting.
“It’s just much more important you experience it that way,” he said.
Registration for the event — available before and on the day of the tournament — costs $175 for an individual golfer and $600 for a foursome, which encompasses golf, dinner, practice balls before play and a gift package.
Longbow is located at 5601 E. Longbow Parkway in Mesa, and more information is available by visiting shootoutforsunshine.org or calling (480) 632-6000.
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