Moose is Loose

Golf tournament supports skiing prospects

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— For more than 30 years, golfers have teed off to help the children of Steamboat Springs excel on the ski slopes as part of the Moose in Loose golf tournament.

On Wednesday, the annual tournament hosted 149 golfers at the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club, and helped raise money for scholarships to help Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club athletes with the expenses of ski racing.

"This tournament directly supports the families of our athletes," said Rick DeVos, Winter Sports Club executive director.

Tournament director Jim "Moose" Barrows said he expects that this year's tournament raised $10,000, but the official numbers have not been calculated.

All of that money will be given out this year to athletes who have proven they can reach the Junior Olympic level or higher.

The money is intended to cover coaching expenses and to help those athletes excel at the Junior Olympics, junior nationals and nationals. Barrows said the tournament is also a good excuse for local golfers and their friends to head out on the golf course and have a good time.

This year, the team of Tara Nultemeier, Anna Marie Shunny, Reese Hillard, John Thompson and Chris Lanham won the contest. The team finished in a tie with the squad of Pam Vanatta, Shannon Hanley, Tom Hauk, Linda Sobeck and Pat Sobeck.

The title came down to a scorecard playoff after both teams finished with 26 points using the Stapleford format.

Moose said the weather cooperated for this year's event, which was held the day before a storm moved into the area.

Barrows said the tournament has been known officially as the Moose is Loose for 26 years, but has actually been raising funds for the scholarship programs for 30 years. The money raised in this event is awarded based on results. Scholarship Day, which traditionally takes place on the opening day of the ski area, awards scholarships based on the athletes' financial needs.

"We owe Moose a ton for what he's done for the club over the years," DeVos said. "This tournament is great because it directly impacts some of our top skiers and their families. At the end of the year, when money is tight, this scholarship allows our athletes to keep competing."

- To reach John F. Russell, call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@steamboatpilot.com

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