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Blueprints of Hope, cancer support nonprofit, receives $38,250 donation

Money donated at annual Columbine Classic Duet Golf Tournament
The team at Cancer Support Community Southwest Colorado Blueprints of Hope receives a donation of $38,250 from Dalton Ranch Women’s Golf Association and the women of the Glacier Club. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

A check for $38,250 was presented Monday to the Cancer Support Community Southwest Colorado Blueprints of Hope.

The money was raised by the Dalton Ranch Women’s Golf Association of the Dalton Ranch Golf Club and the women of the Glacier Club, who collected more than $54,000 through their annual fundraiser, the Columbine Classic Duet Golf Tournament. The tournament generally raises $25,000 to $30,000.

The tournament was held Sept. 7-9. Money was raised through donations of auction and raffle items and community sponsorships.

The remainder of the money went to the Nick Turner Scholarship Foundation, which supports Fort Lewis College’s Women’s Varsity Golf Team.

“They (Blueprints of Hope) are a very small group,” said Meri McGraw, a member of the Columbine Committee, which decides how to allocate the money. “Their services are completely free to a cancer patient or survivor. ... They were just so grateful for our help, and it was just something that they never expected.”

During the past 17 years, the Dalton Ranch Women’s Golf Association and Glacier Club women have chosen a recipient of the Columbine Classic’s fundraiser based on applications received from nonprofit organizations.

Cancer Support Community Southwest Colorado provides cancer patients, survivors, their families and caretakers with a slew of resources, including oncology nurse guidance, resource navigation and services that provide the patients with opportunities to exercise and socialize, according to a prepared statement by Toni Abbey, executive director at Cancer Support Community Southwest Colorado.

Although the organization doesn’t directly treat cancer patients or survivors, it assists patients with removing barriers to seeking care.

The cancer support organization is working to develop more programming that addresses social and emotional support needs of patients, such as exercise, stress reduction, education, support, nutrition and social activities.

Blueprints of Hope became an affiliate of the national Cancer Support Community organization in June.

Cancer Support Community Southwest Colorado Executive Director Toni Abbey, right of center, realizes how much money the nonprofit organization just received – $38,250 – from the Columbine Committee of Dalton Ranch Women’s Golf Association and the women of the Glacier Club. The money was a product of the Columbine Classic Duet Golf Tournament. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

The Columbine Classic Duet Golf Tournament was reimagined by Nick and Dolly Turner in 2004, McGraw said. Since 1995, the tournament had been held to introduce new women golfers to the Dalton Ranch Golf Club. Nick Turner, who the scholarship fund of the same title is named after, originally sponsored the tournament with an amount of $1,000.

“Dolly Turner, a longtime resident of Durango, and some other ladies at Dalton (Ranch Golf Club) started the tournament to introduce ladies of the Four Corners to our area golf courses,” McGraw said.

Since the Columbine Classic took new form in 2004, the tournament has raised more than $275,000 in donations that have been doled out to nonprofit organizations in the Durango area.

“Nick and Dolly Turner have continued to sponsor the tournament all 26 years by sponsoring the Hole-in-One contest,” McGraw said in a written statement.

The Glacier Club joined Dalton Ranch Golf Club in sponsoring the tournament in 2012 and continues its support today.

Despite COVID-19 causing the 2020 Columbine Classic to be canceled, the 2021 Columbine Classic Duet Golf Tournament made a considerable rebound. It was the largest tournament yet, McGraw said.

More than 200 people attended the opening reception the night before the tournament began, and 112 women competed in 28 teams over two days, one featuring the Dalton Ranch course and the other featuring the Glacier course.

“Everybody just had a blast,” McGraw said. “We had over 200 people at the opening reception. I think that probably tells you why we raised so much money, too. It was a much bigger event.”

Applications for the 2022 beneficiary of the Columbine Classic Duet Golf Tournament are now being accepted, McGraw said. To receive an application, send requests to Columbineclassicdurango@gmail.com.

cburney@durangoherald.com



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