MOSES LAKE – The Samaritan Healthcare Foundations’ annual Desert Golf Classic will see its 21st performance on September 16 at the Links at Moses Pointe, raising money for the foundation’s BuildCommunity campaign
“This is one of our annual fundraising events to raise funds for the campaign we are running that year,” said Alayna Webb, Samaritan Healthcare Donation Specialist. “So this year, and last year, it’s for our BuildCommunity campaign for a new medical campus.”
As the local community continues to grow, Webb said Samaritan Healthcare hopes the medical campus will help alleviate some of the stress of operating in a smaller location.
“We’re trying to build a new medical campus to support the growing community, the growing service lines that we have here at Samaritan,” Webb said. “We’ve kind of outgrown our space here at the hospital and kind of need something a little bigger to take care of all the patients and all of that.”
Webb, who has run the tournament since 2018, said the new medical campus has no firm completion date and has been put on hold due to the pandemic.
Typical attendance at the Desert Golf Classic in the past was around 94 to 96 golfers, Webb said, but in recent years, 120 to 124 players have signed up for the tournament.
“So it’s really cool to see the growth,” Webb said. “It’s really cool to see the great support from the community and some of our business partners, and it’s exciting for us to see that.”
With the least attendance in the past, some sponsors had purchased seats for Samaritan employees to play in the tournament. Now, with the maximum of 30 teams already reached, Webb said the growing popularity has now seen more golfers take those spots.
“I know some people are a little disappointed not to get the offer to play back teams from the sponsor, but that’s also a good problem to have,” Webb said.
In addition to the shotgun start style tournament, players can also participate in side games and other prizes.
“Prize holes are your holes in one, your closest to the pin, longest drive, longest putt made,” Webb said. “And then the side games are things like the 52-card pickup, which is a 5050 raffle. We will be selling raffle tickets. We have one called Great Leap Forward – you draw a colored ball and it corresponds to a certain advantage on the court.
With so much participation in the Desert Golf Classic, the side games provide additional entertainment off the course.
“It kind of helps with some of the bottlenecks that can happen when you have so many players, but it creates a lot of fun there,” Webb said.
Although the tournament has reached capacity in terms of registered teams, Samaritan Healthcare is still accepting sponsorships and donations. Those interested in sponsorships or donations can contact Webb at 509-793-9645 or by email at [email protected]
“We still have many sponsorship opportunities available,” Webb said, “and we’re always looking for volunteers to help out. (We accept) all donations in regards to raffle items for a raffle, or if they want to do prize items, we are open for that too.
Ian Bivona can be reached at [email protected]