Golfers swing into action for hospice

More than 130 golfers and dozens of volunteers attended the inaugural Dan Leary Golf Tournament Saturday at Sequoia Woods for Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

More than 130 golfers came out to Sequoia Woods Country Club in Arnold to support Hospice of Amador and Calaveras at the inaugural Dan Leary Golf Tournament.

“We raised and donated $10,000 last year,” said Ray Bertolino, one of the many volunteer coordinators. “We hope to beat that number like a drum this year.”

According to Bertolino, one group of people made the event even better.

“Volunteers were the cornerstone of the event,” Bertolino said. “Without them we wouldn’t have such an amazing event. And Sequoia Woods treated us like royalty.”

Dan Leary’s widow, Tess Leary, echoed the sentiment.

“It takes a village to create such an event,” she said.

Golfers swing into action for hospice

Casey Valverde, riding with friend Dawn Neith, enjoyed her 60th birthday riding about the inaugural Dan Leary Memorial Golf Tournament in her decked out golf cart.

Leary was thrilled with the outpouring of support from the community for not only honoring her husband’s memory, but for a program that is near and dear to her heart.

“They have been amazing,” Leary said of Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

While this year’s tournament was the first in Dan Leary’s name, it has always been an Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge charity tournament, with its roots dating back more than 15 years.

“We began at Forest Meadows Golf Course when it was an 18-hole course,” Bertolino said. “We tried to donate locally and soon realized a need for hospice support. So for many, many years, the funds have gone to support hospice, first in Sonora and now Calaveras.”

The support is appreciated.

“We are so grateful to have been named for the second year in a row as a beneficiary of the Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge’s annual charity golf tournament,” said Wendy Mathis, Hospice of Amador and Calaveras community liaison. “In our 37 years, we have never had to say ‘no’ to a patient for inability to pay, and organizations like the Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge are one of the main reasons why.”

Golfers swing into action for hospice

Don Machado, Bill Tillery, Doug Downing and Bev Bernardo enjoyed a cool margarita at the 14th hole at the inaugural Dan Leary Memorial Golf Tournament for Hospice of Amador and Calaveras.

The name of the game was a day of fun in the sun, as novice golfers teed off shoulder-to-shoulder with advanced players. Golfers competed at most of the holes in games of four-man scramble or closest to-the-hole. The 10th hole offered the opportunity to win a brand new Subaru from Sonora Subaru – a sponsor of the event – with a hole in one. No one went home that day with the new car.

Eddie Castro, a drummer with the band Cool Beans, out of Murphys, came to support the cause and enjoy the day, admitting, “my golfing skills are very poor but I had a lot of fun.”

It was Sandy Theis’ first year to play in the tournament, but he was happy to have joined the fun. “I love to golf, and this is an awesome charity; a charity that helps so many.”

The day began with a light lunch at Sequoia Woods and finished with a dinner for more than 200 at the Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge with raffle prizes and camaraderie.

“We are changing lives, people,” said Damon Bortz, Ebbetts Pass Moose Lodge governor, as he addressed the crowd before dinner, thanking them all for their participation and generosity.

“It was an honor and a privilege to be included, and we thank the lodge members and the community from the bottom of our hearts,” Mathis said.

Hospice of Amador and Calaveras is a nonprofit offering care and support for those suffering with terminal illness and their families. Additionally, the organization offers a vet-to-vet program pairing a trained, local veteran with a veteran in hospice.

For more information on how you can help provide hospice care to the terminally ill, visit hospiceofamador.org or call 223-5500.

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