You’ve got a chance to help local youth while enjoying the golf course come Monday, August 15 when Elkdale Country Club plays host to the Salamanca Rotary Club’s Annual Youth Benefit Tournament. Proceeds from the tournament will help fund reading programs, scholarships, and the Rotary Club’s ongoing effort to assist and engage youth in the Salamanca area.
Now pushing a decade of existence, the Youth Benefit Tournament couples the people’s propensity for helping with the favorite activity of many - golf! Elkdale, nestled in the rolling foothills on NY Route 353 between Little Valley and Salamanca, continues its run as both a fantastic golf course and a place that hosts a multitude of feel-good tournaments every year.
Jerry Peinkofer, a Rotary member since 1980, spearheads the event each year. With a consistent average of 70 players in the field, the tournament does a great job of raising money for its various programs.
“We give out six scholarships at the Salamanca High School every year, as well as the Jerry Fordham essay contest for seniors. Some of the money goes to sending students coming out of their freshman year to a Rotary leadership program in Fredonia. So there’s a lot of really great stuff that’s benefited from this tournament.”
Salamanca’s Rotary Club was founded in 1926 and has been a do-good organization ever since. The Youth Tournament will also fund a literacy program at the Salamanca Library, which is a year-long endeavor. With 14 kids signed up for the summer (and more on the way), the Rotary Club looks to one of its own members, a former speech therapist in the Salamanca school district, to lead the way.
“The Rotary Club also gives out ‘Outstanding Senior’ awards, one for every month,” Peinkofer said. “The students are chosen for their exemplary work ethic or grades, and we honor them at a dinner at the end of the year. Each student receives a plaque and a $50 check.”
One of the best parts about this tournament is that every participant will walk away with some sort of prize. Winners of each division - men’s, women’s, and couples - typically will get their entry fees back as a monetary prize. And with additional door prizes and a Chinese Auction, there’s tons of stuff to win.
“All of the raffle items are donated,” Peinkofer said. “We’ve got one to the Chautauqua Institute, greens fees to Elkdale, and a ‘stay & play’ package for Ellicottville which includes a restaurant gift certificate, greens fees to Holiday Valley and a night stay at the Wingate.”
“This is such a great tournament, because it’s not that competitive and you’re helping to benefit a really admirable thing (helping the kids),” he continued. “We’re really excited about this year’s event.”
The Salamanca Rotary Club’s Youth Benefit Tournament takes place at Elkdale Country Club on Monday, August 15. Entry fee is $50 for non-members, $30 for members and is a scramble format. Fee includes breakfast, lunch and golf. For more information or to sign up, call Elkdale Country Club at 716-945-5553.