If you’re looking for an excuse to shut down the office early on a weekday afternoon for a good cause, think about taking part in the 10th annual Raise the Green golf tournament at Foxfire Golf Course in Van Buren.
The nine-hole tournament will benefit Ophelia’s Place, a center in the village of Liverpool that addresses eating disorders and dysfunctional body image. Ophelia’s Place provides many opportunities for all those impacted by eating disorders to learn more and gather help and resources. In 2008, a relationship was formed between Ophelia’s Place and The Nutrition Clinic. Through this collaboration, an intensive outpatient program is offered by The Nutrition Clinic at Ophelia’s Place for those who need it.
The center also offers support groups for those struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating and body dissatisfaction, as well as their friends and families. It also conducts education and outreach efforts throughout Central New York. (For more information, visit opheliasplace.org.)
The tournament is the brainchild of Ophelia’s Place founder Mary Ellen Clausen, who created the center after watching her own daughters struggle with eating disorders. She chose a golf tournament because it was something she loved to do with her dad.
“We needed funding, and we thought this would be a great way to raise money and create awareness for our cause,” Clausen said. “But instead of an all-day, 18-hole event we created an evening nine-hole tournament, and we sold out the first year.”
Board member Mark Roberts said the nine-hole format helps draw in more participants.
“This way, you can have more novice golfers, people who maybe aren’t as serious about the game but just want to come out and have fun,” Roberts said. “It’s not as frustrating as an all-day 18-hole tournament. We have a captain and crew format and it makes it a little easier to play and participate to come out and have fun.”
Since more people can play, more money can be raised – Roberts, who has helped coordinate the event the last four or five years, said more than 100 golfers usually participate, and the tournament typically raises $12,000 to $15,000 a year. That money funds programs, speakers, support and the day-to-day running of Ophelia’s Place. It also helps to raise awareness of the center’s mission: to help people to accept themselves as they are.
“We’ve created a very unique model, offering support, education and outreach, along with providing several levels of treatment services through our collaboration with The Nutrition Clinic,” Clausen said, “and in 2009 we opened Cafe at 407, as a creative way of funding Ophelia’s Place while providing a place of community along with a space that embraces our vision: To begin changing culture and to empower individuals, families, and communities to embrace health, beauty, and happiness at any shape and size and to share a message of body celebration.”
The event’s volunteer committee chair, Farah Jadran, of Syracuse, says the community involvement has been the key to the tournament’s success.
“Several community members volunteer their time to collect donations and seek sponsorships,” Jadran said. “Then its the community that steps up to answer the call — this makes the tournament possible.”
Volunteers also work on gathering items for the giveaway bags and auction items. “Mark [Roberts] has been doing an excellent job securing sponsorships for this event, which, without a doubt, is for a great cause.”
The tournament takes place on Thursday Sept. 22. Registration begins at 3 p.m. with a shotgun start at 3:30 p.m. Fees are $260 per foursome or $65 per person and include greens fees, a golf cart, dinner, shirt, giveaways, door prizes, raffles, a silent auction and dinner. You can also sign up as a sponsor. Major sponsors of the event are Custom Logo and ClearChannel; other sponsors are Staff Leasing, Ward Steel, Benefit Consulting Group and Brown and Brown.
If interested in sponsorship, contact Mark Roberts at 430-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a general donation, contact Farah Jadran at email@example.com.
For questions regarding The Nutrition Clinic’s programs or other eating disorders treatment options, please contact The Nutrition Clinic at (877)765-7866 and visit their website at solstonecenter.com.
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.