The Ellensburg Golf Course was buzzin’ with the pre-tournament preparation Friday afternoon. The registration table was a blur of hands with volunteers taking money, handing out complimentary golf balls, answering questions and passing out information brochures.

Pink was the color, even though the Ellensburg Women’s 18-Hole Division’s Chip in Fore Cancer scramble golf tournament was the local club’s contribution to helping find a cure for all forms of the deadly disease.

As the deck filled up with participants, friends and family, the sound of a lone golfer striking balls on the driving range some some 100 feet away was a reminder that golf was the vehicle. But at the end of the day, it was about helping researchers find a way to put and end to one of the deadliest diseases of modern times.

Tournament committee member Debbie Whitman and her family are a little closer to the need to find a cure. Her son Alex was diagnosed with a rare form called Gastrinoma, which is found in the pancreas and/or duodenum. He’s in remission, but hundreds of families nationwide are smack dab in the middle of it and could use all the help they can get.

“The club has been involved in Race for the Cure (for breast cancer), but this year we wanted to bring awareness to all different types of cancers,” said Whitman, who was a part of the Whit-Sjo team with her good friends the Sjolander’s, who drove over from Issaquah to take part in the fundraiser.

“We picked out two groups we wanted to contribute to. The Fred ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (Cancer) Research Center is well known for their work and development with the University of Washington. We’re also contributing to the Cancer Research Institute. One’s local and the other’s national.”

Gina Sjolander was more than happy to make the drive over from King County to help raise money and awareness.

“I just found out my biological mother and half-brother both died from cancer,” she said. “Today’s not about golf. We made the drive over to support Randy and Debbie and help raise money. Hopefully, they’ll find a cure for cancer in our lifetime.”

The Women’s 18-Hole Division hoped to raise upwards of $3,000, but exceeded expectations with an estimated total of $4,000. Entry fees, green fees, mulligan tickets, all of it is going to the cause club president Mary Hubbard said.

“The club has been active in the past and we decided it was time to help where we could,” she said. “This year we wanted to raise funding for all types and not just breast cancer. I think it’s important. It’s not really about golf as much as it is raising money and awareness.”

It’s their first tournament and they came up aces with 19 four-player teams, hole sponsors, financial contributors, people and organizations ready to chip in to see if they can’t find a cure for cancer in their lifetime.

“We’re off to a great start on our goal of raising $3,000 with $2550 already collected from our hole sponsors,” publicity chairman Kathy Jurgens said. “It’s a lot of fun for a first-year tournament with all the interest and we’re excited.

“We’re really pleased with the results and we’d like to make it an annual event.”

If you would like to make a contribution to the Chip in Fore Cancer email Jurgens at

Tournament results:

1st Casey Kelley, Brian Kelley, Matt Utter, Ryan Craig

2nd Mozzio Miglino, Rod Main, Larry Hudson, Gunn

3rd Doug Hagg, Kelly Moeur, Mark Kuwada, Jeff Hughes

Closest To The Pin (Man) Casey Kelley

Closest To The Pin (Woman) Beth Habib

Longest Drive (Man) Jeff Zeleny

Longest Drive (Woman) Debbie Whitman

Accuracy Drive (Man) Alex Galbraith

Accuracy Drive (Woman) Beth Habib


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