Finley Walker with her big sister Emery Miller. PHOTO COURTESY BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS

Golfing for Big Brothers Big Sisters

100 HOLE GOLF MARATHON SET FOR JULY 13

Last year and the 17 years before, celebrities descended upon Big Sky from all corners of the nation. They came for the highly regarded and celebrated Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Big Sky Country Celebrity Golf Tournament – a single event that typically generates nearly half of the funding needed to support Big Sky programs. This year, concerns of COVID-19 caused a shift.

Big Sky Program Coordinator for BBBS of Big Sky Country Amy Hunter said PGA golf professional at Big Sky Golf Course Mark Wehrman came up with the idea of a golf marathon.

“He has played in a similar event in the past and we quickly realized that it was a good way to honor the traditional golf tournament we usually do with not bringing groups of people together and risking anyone’s exposure to COVID-19,” she said.

So, a 12 person crew led by Wehrman will be rotating in and out, conquering 100 holes of golf.

Hunter noted the support of Big Sky Resort and Wehrman has been instrumental in the fundraiser’s success.

Big Sky resident and retired NFL player Tom Newberry has been helping with the fundraiser since 2004 and got some of his friends from football to participate including Leroy Irvin, Eric Dickerson. The event has grown to mean a lot to them.

“Every year they do a presentation that’s pretty emotional. It’s really a neat program,” Newberry said. “It’s a good time – to hang out with a bunch of players for a few days and share opinions on things.” He – along with many other celebrity participants – is looking forward to the next tournament.

“I’m absolutely missing it this year – and I’m going to miss seeing friends. This would have been my 20th year in a row attending and unfortunately I’m not going to be able to attend because of the COVID-19 virus. I will make a donation. I have every year and I will continue to do that,” retired NFL player Autry Beamon said.

Hunter pointed-out it is no secret that nonprofits are navigating a tricky fundraising atmosphere and really need the help. Until July 13, people can pledge or donate to support the Big Sky Golf-a-thon and be automatically entered into a drawing to win a golf day at The Reserve at Moonlight. She also said that this effort funds Big Sky programs and mental health initiatives. Programs in Big Sky are seeing growth, with a quarter of the student body in the Big Sky School District involved during the 2019- 2020 school year.

“We anticipate more kids participating this upcoming school year and really need the support of the community to continue serving our kids,” she said.

To participate visit https://anython.com/bigskygolfathon

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