'Cruzin' on the Green'

Driving against DV, putting for the hungry

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

GALLUP, June 20, 2013

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F ourteen teams battled it out on the Fox Run Golf Course this past weekend for a good cause.

Twenty-eight participants headed out onto the golf course on Saturday to start "Cruzin' on the Green," a benefit golf tournament, raffle and car show that was held for Battered Families Services, Inc. in Gallup and the Gallup Community Pantry.

"Nothing has been done for battered families for a long time," said Tomas Noe, director of operations of the Fox Run Golf Course in Gallup on why he wanted to host a golf tournament in which proceeds will be donated to Battered Families Services, Inc. in Gallup. "They need the money and we were trying to help them raise money."

A total of $4,991.25 was raised to benefit the family shelter.

Noe said he hopes the money raised will give them enough funding "so they can actually provide the families with more comfortable living quarters."

Michele Tuohey, executive director of Battered Families, said the money raised through "Cruzin' on the Green" will help the organization "tremendously."

Gallup Battered Families Services, Inc. offers domestic violence shelter for women and children with counseling, referrals, employment assistance, and housing.

"We predominately serve the Navajo people," Tuohey said.

McKinley County is second in the state for domestic violence and the services offered by Battered Families are "critical," according to Tuohey.

"Being right next to the Navajo Nation it's just crucial to have money to be able to provide the services that are needed," she said.

The Navajo Nation, which helps fund Battered Families, recently cut $46,600 from the program's budget in the wake of the federal sequester, Tuohey said, so voluntary contributions like those supplied by the tournament "will help us toward the amount that we loss."

It will be applied in the areas that need it the most, Tuohey said, such as monthly billing, maintenance and salaries.

Meanwhile, the Community Pantry's Chief Operations Officer Hilda Kendall said tourney participants donated 188 pounds of much-needed canned food.

This food will be used for the Community Pantry's emergency food box program, Kendall said, adding, "We truly appreciate it."

The golf tournament was set up as a two-man best, where teams of two hit the golf course for an 18-hole game on a par-three course.

Par three is a course that is between 100 and 250 yards in length and the golfer is allowed up to three strokes to complete the hole.

"It made it real enjoyable," said Bill Armstrong, president of the Men's Golf Association in Gallup, who has been playing golf for 30 years.

Armstrong and his son Jason were able to bring in a score of 58, earning them first place.

He said they participated in the tournament because it was the perfect opportunity to give back to the community.

"I think anybody that lives in Gallup has an opportunity to participate in something like that to where a local organization benefits," he noted.

Marcus Tulley and Don Murphy took second place with a score of 60 and third place went to Bryan McDonald and Rich Yzanbaard with a 60-point score as well. (The tie was broken because Murphy and Tulley finished in a shorter time than their rivals.)

Tulley has been a golfer for 12 years, and he said he likes entering golf tournaments because of his love for competing. He wasn't aware that this tournament was to benefit Battered Families and the Community Pantry, but when he found out he was glad to be a part of it.

"The resources are dwindling with a lot of these programs, and this is one way of being proactive in terms of trying to supplement your program funding," Tulley said.

"It brings out the awareness," Tulley said, adding he believes that everyone knows someone who is in need of services provided by Battered Families.

"More people need to be aware that there are battered families around and McKinley County can help," Noe said. "There is a real problem and the people that suffer are the wives and the kids."

Contact Shondiin Silversmith at 928-871-1138 or editor@navajotimes.com.

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