Nearly 100 players took part in the annual Dr. Gary Pence Invitational Tournament hosted by Oakhurst Sierra Rotary June 11, during a beautiful day at Dragonfly Golf Club.
Among the winners were, for low gross score, Steve Young, Mike Best, Jon Peliter, and Nick Schneider, while Dave Denson, Paul Varney, and Jason Sherrell won in low net.
The tournament is named after Pence, a 28-year Rotarian who passed away in July of 2008 from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Its proceeds are donated to Madera County families that have someone living with ALS, and to provide soccer scholarships to children throughout the Mountain Area.
“Raising funds for families living with ALS in Madera County has never been more important than it is now,” said Pence’s son Andrew Pence. “The reason being that there is still no cure for this deadly disease, so the only way to help a person living with ALS is try and improve their quality of life.
“Providing soccer scholarships to children in our community is very important because some of the kids would not have the opportunity to learn the value of teamwork, determination, and working hard that comes from organized athletics,” Pence continued. “Rotary has been able to change the world, but most of those efforts start in our own back yards.”
Pence wanted to thank Rotary’s sponsors - Sierra Tel, Tenaya Lodge, Woody’s Painting, Vulcan Materials, Pizza Factory, and the Pence Team at Supreme Lending - as well as Mountain Area Youth Soccer and their volunteers.
“This is an amazing group of people who really make the day run smooth and maximize our players’ experience,” Pence said.
Though he didn’t have final fundraising numbers, Pence estimated the tournament has raised more than $300,000 over its more than 30 years of its existence.