Golf benefit for Houston nearly filled

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— In less than a week, word about a golf tournament to benefit the family of Brian Houston has swept across Steamboat Springs.

The event is almost full, even though posters promoting the tournament still are being made.

"It's been mainly word of mouth," golf tournament organizer Ron Pollard said. "Brian was such a huge part of our community that once people heard about the tournament, they started lining up."

Houston, a popular teacher at Christian Heritage School, died in March in a motorcycle accident outside of Grand Junction. A group of his closest friends suggested holding the golf tournament to raise money to support the Houston family.

Pollard and his wife, Lois, agreed to take care of the details for the Brian Houston Duffer's Delight Memorial Golf Tournament. The response to the event has been overwhelming.

The tournament, which is limited to 55 golfers, has drawn 50 golfers in less than seven days. There also has been a flood of donations and other support from community members.

The tournament includes golf at the Steamboat Golf Club on May 23 and a concert and auction at Three Peaks Grill later that evening. The night promises to be filled with tasty hors d'oeuvre and sweet sounds.

Music was an important part of Houston's life. He played the piano during services at the Euzoa Bible Church for more than 10 years.

He and his wife, Christel, directed the Columbine Singers, a local choir group, and worked with children through Strings in the Mountains and the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp.

This spring, Houston played piano at rehearsals for the Steamboat Springs High School production of "South Pacific." He also played regular gigs at Three Peaks Grill with his jazz trio, The Usual Suspects.

The tournament begins at 2:30 p.m., and the doors for the evening events will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the dinner and auction still are available for $25. Golfers interested in playing in the tournament can call the Pollards at 879-3418.

"Anyone who knew Brian knew he was all about the fun," said Keri Couchoud, a member of the events' organizing committee. 'This is about having a day of fun and celebrating the life of Brian Houston."

The tournament will be held at the nine-hole Steamboat Golf Club, a course Houston loved to play, and it will stress the importance of having a good time, not winning.

Prizes will be given to the golfer who whiffs the most, hits the ball into the water the most, or sets the record for out-of-bounds shots.

Pollard hopes the event will become an annual fundraiser and that with more time to plan, organizers can expand the field for next year.

All of the proceeds for this year's event will be donated to Christel Houston and their four children.

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