|After the Rain: Dex Barnes, Ralph Bruksos, Cathi, Mike Kunath|
It was pouring rain when I awakened yesterday regretting that I had committed to friend, Mike Kunath, that I would be the fourth golfer and play in the Washington State Dental Association 2011 PNDC Golf Classic with him and his friend, WSDA past president, Dex Barnes, and weather guru, Steve Poole benefiting the Washington Oral Health Foundation. After braving the downpour and driving to Harbour Pointe Golf Club in Mukilteo at 7:15 am, Steve Poole had cancelled (smart thinking considering the weather and the razzing remarks he would have received!) and was replaced by Ralph Bruksos.
Dex unloaded my golf clubs in the driving rain and I was thankful that I had remembered to bring a big golf umbrella at the last moment from home. However, I could see that my cute matching blue visor was not going to work so bought a waterproof rain hat in the pro shop moments before the shotgun start. Of course, the golf cart had standing water on the seats and our towels were sopping wet in a matter of moments as we headed out to what seemed to be the furthest possible starting point, hole #12. With the rain furiously coming in sideways, within a couple of holes we were all thoroughly drenched.
|Braving the Rain: Dex Barnes, Mike Kunath, Ralph Bruksos|
I can’t remember a golf game when my hands and feet were as cold as they were yesterday. Faint memories of skiing in Banff as a teenager come to mind, but that is another story. Ralph tried to buy hand warmers for our team, but they had all been put in storage for the “summer”. The funniest golf incidents involved both Mike and Dex swinging at the ball with their cold, numb hands, and sending their golf clubs flying many yards, down the fairway for Mike and up into a tree for Dex.
The tournament format was a 4 person best ball scramble, so after a few holes, I figured out that as long as I drove at each hole (yes, they did count 3 of my drives as the best of the foursome!), I could take cover in the golf cart and skip some of the interim hits on the longer holes, since I couldn’t possibly hit my ball as far as any of my three male teammates. However, I did try to make up for it on the putting green by sinking a few of the putts for the team. Our final gross score was 3 over par. We didn’t win.
The inclement weather didn’t seem to faze the tournament organizers and it appeared that the tournament had great turnout with two foursomes starting on almost every hole. Overseeing all the details with her warm smile was WOHF Executive Director, Sandra Hardymon, along with her staff team, Melissa Holt and Ruth Abate and numerous volunteers. One of the initiatives of WOHF is the Boys & Girls Clubs Oral Health Initiative. The goal is to reduce the incidence of dental disease in low-income families by empowering children to assume more personal responsibility for their own oral health, helping families understand the impact dental disease has on the entire body, and teaching them how dental disease can be prevented.
This golf tournament benefited the WOHF Treatment and Oral Health Education Operatory at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club and Teen Center in Seattle. The Operatory can provide examinations, treatment, and oral health education for 2,500 youth each year. The mission of the Operatory is to provide educational programs for members and their families; in addition to free dental exams, treatment, and referrals.
Following the tournament, everyone convened in the clubhouse for lunch and a brief auction. Once I wrung out my sopping wet golf socks and changed into dry shoes, it was heaven to enter the warm clubhouse! But regardless of the cold and rain, we all felt warm inside because it was all for a good cause!