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Golfers out to help 200 less fortunate kids
Ron Laffranchi prepares to tee a ball out of the mouth of Jim Brown to promote the 8th annual Swing for Youth benefit golf tournament, taking place at the Manteca Park Golf Course on Friday, July 23. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL/ The Bulletin
Last year the Swing for Youth benefit golf tournament helped cover the cost for 100 kids who wouldn’t otherwise been able to participate in Manteca Parks and Recreation programs.

And they’re aiming even higher this year.

According to tournament chairman Kirk Dall, the tournament – which will be held at Manteca Park Golf Course on Friday, July 23 with a $75 price tag per participant – is a chance to help less fortunate families by allowing their children to participate in the wide range of activities that the Parks and Recreation Department offers.

There isn’t a better time for that support, he said, than right now.

“Our foundation is all about volunteering the time, energy, and resources to help fund these activities and sports for the kids,” said Dall. “I personally have three kids that are in swim lessons, and at $75 each, it adds up pretty quickly.

“There are families out there with four and five kids, and in this economy it isn’t easy to set aside money for recreation like that.”

The $75 participation fee includes breakfast, a cart, course beverages and snacks, a goodie bag, and lunch at Chez Shari.

The four-person, best-ball scramble – which features a reverse shotgun start on July 23 – begins at 7:30 a.m. The registration deadline is Monday, July 19.

And in the true spirit of a golf tournament, prizes and bragging rights will be awarded. Chase Chevrolet is donating a free car for one of the hole-in-one challenges, while Chez Shari is offering a $500 cash prize for the other.

Longest drive and closest-to-the-pin awards are also going to be included in the format.

“We’re hoping to be able to help 200 kids this year, and while that might be difficult because of the economy, we’re hoping that the community will come together and realize what a good cause this is,” Dall said. “We encourage everyone to come out and play, and those who can’t that want to just make a donation to the organization can do that too.”

Those wishing to pre-register can do so by stopping by the Manteca Parks and Recreation Department office at 252 Magnolia Avenue. For additional information, call 456-8600, or Toni Lundgren at 456-8627.