Turkey Tee-Off to benefit Special Olympics

HARLINGEN — An opportunity to work off some of that holiday table fare awaits the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the inaugural Turkey Tee-Off Golf Tournament to benefit local athletes in Special Olympics Texas.

The three-man scramble tournament at Tony Butler Golf Course is $375 per team and the registration deadline is Nov. 23. Golfers can register online at www.sotx.org/turkeyteeoff

Lauro Garza, area director for Special Olympics Texas, hopes the Nov. 25 tournament catches on as a regular event for the Valley.

“As far as prizes, we’re doing $800 for first place, $500 for second and $300 for third, and we will be providing food from Raising Cane’s and we’ll be having some adult beverages including craft beers as well from L&F distributors and Resaca City Liquor,” Garza said.

Garza said door prizes will be awarded, and each participant will receive an Under Armour goodie bag.

Most importantly, he said, it’s the cause that matters.

“The way we are able to provide these opportunities for these athletes — we have close to 5,200 in the Valley —all the money that’s raised is private,” Garza said yesterday. “We get no money from the government, or from the schools, from endowments or things like that.

“We need people to participate in these types of fundraisers in order to keep the program going,” he added.

In addition to L&F Distributors and Raising Cane’s, other local sponsors who have signed on for the tournament are Driscoll Health Plan and the Harlingen Police Department.

“What we’re doing is providing an opportunity for people with intellectual disabilities they otherwise would not have,” Garza said. “Every other student, at most schools, has an entire sports program and they can pick and choose whichever one they want to participate in.

“Unfortunately, for these mostly kids although we do have adults too, they don’t have the same opportunities,” he added. “Without Special Olympics they really wouldn’t have these opportunities to actually show what they can do, and experience everything sports has to offer.”

Turkey Tee-Off Golf Tournament

WHERE: Tony Butler Golf Course

TEE TIME: 9 a.m., Nov. 25

TO BENEFIT: Special Olympics Texas (RGV)

COST: $375 per three-player team in scramble

INCLUDES: Greens fees, cart fees, lunch and goodie bag

PRIZES: First place $800, second place $500, third place $300

REGISTRATION: Deadline Nov. 23 and can be done online at www.sotx.org/turkeyteeoff