Teeing off for hospice home

Excited to be giving $16,000 to Hospice of Mercy Experience are Dalton Ranch Club Women’s Association President Diane Curtis, left, and, representing the women players from the Glacier Club, Mary Poillion. The money was raised at the Columbine Classic Duet golf tournament. Enlarge photo

Courtesy of Joy Hess

Excited to be giving $16,000 to Hospice of Mercy Experience are Dalton Ranch Club Women’s Association President Diane Curtis, left, and, representing the women players from the Glacier Club, Mary Poillion. The money was raised at the Columbine Classic Duet golf tournament.

Summertime, and the golfing is splendid ... at least at the Columbine Classic Duet golf tournament, which this year raised a whopping $16,000 for the Hospice of Mercy Experience, the planned residence in Three Springs where people can approach their final days with dignity and loving care surrounded by beauty.

Chief Development Officer Karen Midkiff, Development Officer Joy Hess and Events Officer Kay Jones from the Mercy Health Foundation were on hand to celebrate the donation, as were H.O.M.E. Capital Campaign co-chairpeople Dick and Jane Pearson.

This kind of donation is a development officer’s dream, Midkiff said, where another group essentially does all the work, promotes your cause and makes a significant donation.

Before I write another word, I should mention that this is a nongolfer writing about golf. My tablemates at the event explained several things, the sports desk answered other questions and Mr. Google weighed in, too, so any errors are mine, all mine, perhaps because I didn’t know enough to even ask the questions.

Chairwomen Sandy Blaisdell and Teresa Price performed many of the myriad Herculean tasks necessary for a two-day, two-golf course event. (The 100 women participating in the tournament played the afternoon of June 20 at Glacier Club and Thursday morning at Dalton Ranch.)

The committee ably assisting them included Cindy Bryniarski, Sheri Teeter, Gail Aalund, Dolly Turner, Debbie Wright, Sharon Mantor, Sandy Elliott, DanaOgorzalek, Mary Butler (no relation to yours truly), Mary Poillion and Jean Hamann.

This event is one-of-a-kind in the Four Corners, and it is so popular, it has a waiting list. Teams came from other parts of Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico and even from as far away as Florida.

The event includes brunch and heavy appetizers at the Glacier Club and breakfast and lunch the next day at Dalton Ranch, and several players told me the treatment was first class all the way. I can attest to the delicious lunch at Dalton, which included a berry-filled green salad topped with grilled chicken and shrimp, dressed with raspberry vinaigrette, followed by a red velvet cupcake topped with sinful cream cheese frosting. Aalund and Roger Hayes of Wells Fargo Advisors sponsored the lunch.

I can’t write another word without mentioning the extraordinary centerpieces designed by Cindy Shelton of Wildwoods Fine Flowers. She created wrought-iron birdcages with a “window” frame with a little red bird perched on the windowsill inside – a beautiful rendition of the H.O.M.E. logo. She wound ivy around some of the bars and the top of the cage.

Shelton also put together the tee prizes – what I would call party favors anywhere else. Turner, who winters in Wickenburg, Ariz., had convinced a young Amish man named Wendell Kropf, who is well-known for his beautiful woodworking, to donate more than 100 heart-shaped wooden boxes. Shelton then created a mini-arrangement of two red roses set in each box, then, completely on her own, brought $300 in gift certificates to be randomly distributed among the boxes.

I don’t have space to name everyone who donated prizes or sponsored holes, but let’s just say that once again, the Durango community lived up to our generous reputation. Banks, Realtors, doctors, restaurants and individuals all opened their wallets and hearts.

For the raffle, there were golf excursions in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Wickenburg, lodging at a downtown Denver condo courtesy of J.M. Jones and Jim Mohle and a day of pampering at Nancy Ariano’s Signature Salon. Christina Erteszek donated a number of luxurious robes and yoga gear from her Hermosa Creek line, Carol Salomon continued her giving streak with one of her signature dramatic necklaces and Nick Blaisdell, who, let’s face it, was conscripted to duty because his wife was co-chairperson of the event, contributed one of his stunning pots that was a popular raffle-ticket draw.

Mary and BillPoillion took the opportunity to honor their parents with a $5,000 sponsorship. Nick and Dolly Turner once again stepped up, ready to award a prize of $10,000 to the woman who made a hole-in-one on hole No. 12 at Dalton Ranch. Alas, they are 18 for 18 in not being able to give that money away. Maybe next year.

Two other key players in a successful Columbine Classic are the directors of golf at the two courses, Patric Flynn at Glacier Club and Fal Wood at Dalton. Along with their staff, they wrangle the actual golf part of the tournament, which, is, of course, the whole point.

So here are the women who will be the defending champions at the 19th Columbine Classic Duet in 2013. They compete in flights in teams of four, which are determined by the combined handicaps of the team members.

Flight 1 was the most hotly contested match in the history of the classic, with one-tenth of point separating first and second place. First place went to Daphne d’Agostino, June Lowrey, Jill Crombie and Teresa Price. The just-edged-out team, which already is looking forward to a rematch next year, included Barbara Staley, Cindy Bryniarski, Linda Akins and Sandie Gates.

Flight 2’s first-place winners smoked the competition (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun) – Carol Treat, Kerri Smoak, Mary Hawkins and Sue Ries. In Flight 3, first-place honors went to Jeannie Pippin, Karen Locke, Nancy Sturgill and Ruth Bentley. And in Flight 4, the kudos go to Barb Thurman, Jinx Richards, Linda Phillips and Nancy Cole.

The classic also included prizes for closest to the flag and longest drives in each flight at each course. Dr. Brian West donated gift cards for those winners.

The campaign is still in its “quiet” phase, but donations to the foundation are always welcome at 1 Three Springs Blvd., Durango, CO 81301.

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Taking a pass on the birthday candles because the mere mention of fire is not a happy thought are Lindsay Emery, Grace Clair, Sam Eggleston, Thomas Huber, Barry Stone, Veronica Turner, Louise Vogel, Mary Irby, Ava Rose McClellan, Barbara Cornelius, Eva McCleery, Suzanne Cash, Jessica Shockley, Karen Anesi, Karen Leavitt, Barry Longwell, Louise White, Tom McMillen, Beth Walker, Bill Ward, Eric Sparks, Doc Stanton, Cheryl Clay, Dana James, Geni Miller-Parker, Joanne McKnight, Megan Cole, Aaron Unterreiner, Joe Potter and Daphne Cahill.

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The plethora of June anniversaries continues with good wishes going to John and Chris Serwe, Richard and Debra Pene, Ernie and Mary Anne Gregg, Walt and Julia Jackson, Brian and Janet McCoy, Steve and Tamra Lavengood and Don and Lori Hammond.

Special 25th anniversary greetings go to Walt and Shari Duhaime, who are reading this on their iPad in Cinque Terre, Italy, where they are celebrating. Sister and brother-in-law Deb and Jeff Schultz, and the couple’s daughter, Tori, are keeping the home fires burning ... whoops, bad cliché for right now, how about keeping an eye on things, while they’re gone.

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Here’s how to reach me: neighbors@durangoherald.com; phone 375-4584; mail items to the Herald; or drop them off at the front desk. Please include contact names and phone numbers for all items.

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