Rally in the Valley proves to be a good time for local golfers | SteamboatToday.com

Rally in the Valley proves to be a good time for local golfers

Golfer Rich Werber tees off at the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club during Tuesday's Rally in the Valley Golf Tournament. The event, now in its 17th year, is a fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.
John F. Russell

— The foursome of Phil Lauiger, Jake Lauinger, Mike Pivarnik and John Reid topped the men’s field Tuesday at the 17th annual Rally in the Valley golf tournament, but the real winners weren’t competing on the Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club course.

Proceeds from the event are donated to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project, and that organization uses the money to help families in Northwest Colorado deal with the impacts of breast cancer. The money is also used to help pay for preventative measures such as mammograms.

“We came out for the event to support the charity and the cause,” said Phil Lauinger. “This has been a great event over the years, and we hope that it continues and grows back to where it was before.”

The event was started in 1999 by Linda Danter and the Steamboat Springs women’s golf group at the Steamboat Golf Club. The event grew beyond expectations through 2014 and became a major fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.

A few years ago. Danter stepped back from running the program, handing it off to Robin Crossan, who carried on the event for several more years before stepping down. The Rollingstone Ranch staff then took it over, and with the help of the former directors, continued the tournament.

“It just seemed like it was too important to let go of, so we decided to take it over,” said Mike Dunlop, who manages Rollingstone Ranch.

“I think that everybody that comes really wants to be here, and that’s probably more important than anything else,” Crossan said. “There are so many women and men in our community that benefit from the breast cancer awareness project, so that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about any of us — it’s about raising money for Jan and her group in order to help men and women in our community.’”

Jan Fritz, who represented the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project at Tuesday’s event, said the tournament has been a huge source of support through the years, and the energy the grassroots event brings to the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project is almost as important as the money raised by the golfers.

“People have so much fun playing in this because it’s so easy. The people who put it on, and have put it on, are so organized. They get everything together, and people enjoy playing in the tournament,” Fritz said. “I guess it’s just the power of pink, and the men are as much interested in it as the woman. They have so much fun and that’s what helps keep it going. We love the energy.”

The tournament is a summer tradition for local Al Bass, who has played in the event every year since it started.

This year he invited his daughter Susan Manst, his son-in-law Dave Manst and his granddaughter Magen Manst to play in the event. His wife, Jackie, was at home nursing a sore ankle or she would have been there as well.

“Breast cancer has been a significant issue in our family,” Bass’s daughter Susan Manst said. “I think it’s touched a lot of people. It’s touched us, and that’s why we’re out here today.”

The event tends to focus on having a good time, and while it crowns winners in the mens, womens and mixed divisions, the competition on the course is good-hearted.

Other winners in Tuesday’s event included the womens team of Danter, Crossan, Mary White, Diane Vanmatre and Nancy Shepard. The mixed division was won by a team that included John Such, Scott Havener and Jim and Lynn Kelley.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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