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Annual Sandy High School golf tournament raises funds for students' extra curricular activities

COURTESY PHOTO - A participant tees off during a previous Art Skipper Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for Sandy High Schools No Pioneer Left Behind program.

In the application process for many universities, among grades and overall academic excellence, colleges seem to put a lot of weight on involvement. Whether that's in sports, theater or band, colleges often want to see you've done something outside of studying. But those activities can be expensive to participate in.

At Sandy High, that's where No Pioneer Left Behind comes in. The program was started to help students pay for afterschool activities and athletics.

One step in that fundraising effort for the past nine years has been the Art Skipper Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament, held at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort, 68010 E. Fairway Ave, in Welches. The event raises about $20,000 a year for the program.

This year's tournament is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

Any and everyone is invited to come out, play 18 holes of golf and enjoy lunch provided by the Tollgate Inn Restaurant in Sandy.

"We know kids engaged in an activity — sports, a club, drama, band, CTE (career and technical education) — their graduation rate skyrockets," said Kurt McKnight, event coordinator and Oregon Trail School Board director. "It's about having kids get more engaged and involved in their school and feeling they belong. And we've found kids who are involved in CTE or a club want to go to school. Being able to participate in activities also seems to give more purpose to mainstream subjects like math."

Entry is $100 per person, or $400 for a team of four. If you don't have a team to register, you can be assigned to one. Registration is open until the morning of the event.

With nearly $130,000 raised over the years, McKnight estimates at least 1,000 students have benefitted from the effort.

"And it's not just a sports scholarship," McKnight noted. "It's any (activity) that has a fee attached to it. The district can't cover all of these things, so that's why (No Pioneer Left Behind) exists. And we're not just raising money and throwing it at random things. We're using it to further programs we know work."

For more information about how to register, visit bit.ly/NoPioGolf.

Managing the green

Golf Pro Seth Misenhimer may be new to the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort and No Pioneer Left Behind, but he's all for the resort's support of the Art Skipper Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament.

Misenhimer, 26, previously worked for the Mountain View Golf Club in Boring for eight years, and began at the resort in April.

When he's not working in Welches, Misenhimer is also the assistant coach for the Sandy High boys golf team.

He sees his two occupations working very well in tandem, and offer opportunities to students.

"I think golf is unique because it's an expensive hobby," he noted. "It can add up, especially if you're a teen going to high school. But if you work here, you get to practice for free and working here as a team can help with chemistry."

For kids teeing up to participate in activities off the green, Misenhimer sees No Pioneer Left Behind as a great support.

"I think the tournament is a huge benefit," Misenhimer said. "A lot of my employees go to SHS. Pretty much my whole golf team is from Sandy High. It's really cool for them to see us hosting their fundraiser. I think it's cool we're keeping the event locaI. Every kid should have an opportunity to join a club or sport activity."


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