Fundraising golf tournament set to return for final round | SteamboatToday.com

Fundraising golf tournament set to return for final round

Linda Danter started the Rally in the Valley golf tournament 15 years ago. After this year's event, the tournament might not return. It's raised more than $300,000 for cancer research and support, handing the money out to national organizations and, in more recent years, locally. The event returns for perhaps its final round July 15.

— It started as a group of women who liked to gather weekly for a round of golf. At the insistence of Linda Danter, she thought they could do more than just meet up and play, but at the same time do something to give back.

"I said, 'What do you think if we do something that has a purpose,'" Danter said Tuesday. "They said, 'OK, if you want to do it.'"

She started the golf tournament that became the Rally in the Valley. The first year, with several dozen women playing and chipping in, it raised $1,136 for cancer research. Now, after 13 more versions, it has raised many, many times that — at least $317,000— but this year's tournament could be the last chance to add to that tally.

After its 15th season, the Rally in the Valley probably won't return after this year's event set for July 15.

"It's a very sad thing," Danter said. "We have done a lot of good in the community and we have raised a lot of awareness. People have come together, and this community has been so wonderful and supporting of it. It's sad that we'll lose it."

Danter gave up directing the tournament after the 2012 version. She said the task had grown from that little get-together-with-a-purpose to a year-round commitment, and it was simply too much.

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She turned the reigns over to Robin Crossan, who agreed to help shoulder the load for a year or two.

"This is Year 2," Crossan said. "There are so many golf tournaments and this one has been going on a long time. We really scaled it down last year, and this year's is scaled down even more.

"We realized how much this community already gives and that's one reason we're just not going to continue."

Danter, who last year enjoyed the freedom to actually play in the golf tournament she helped start, certainly understands.

"It's a lot of work, and I really thank Robin for doing it these last two years," Danter said. "Anyone who does it more than two years is insane. I did it for 13, but then I am insane."

For much of its lifespan, the tournament's proceeds went to national cancer causes, but in more recent years, they all have gone to help fund local programs, such as this year's main beneficiary, the Yampa Valley Breast Cancer Awareness Project.

It brought in nearly $25,000 last year alone, and organizers hope to match or exceed that total this year.

The event will take place at Rollingstone Ranch Golf Club and there are two start times, a morning round and an afternoon round. It will cost $115, including green fees, carts, lunch and the donation, and registration is available by calling Rollingstone.

There will be all the things often associated with such events, from a silent auction to prize-awarding contests such as closest to the pin, longest drive and longest putt. There will be two hole-in-one offers, a free car from Cook Chevrolet on the fifth hole and $5,000 from Yampa Valley Bank on the 11th.

"I don't think we've ever had a car before," Crossan said. "So that's really cool."

Locals certainly aren't giving up the breast cancer fight. Crossan pointed to the Bust of Steamboat event coming up Oct. 17 as a great way to give.

And, if someone steps forward to take on the tournament, it could be back for Year 16. Until that happens, Danter and the others who have organized, volunteered at, played at or donated to the event throughout the years can sit back and appreciate what they've accomplished.

"It's amazing," Danter said. "Our community is small and we have so many worthwhile fundraisers, but everyone just seems to come together and show up for everything. It's an incredible place to live, Steamboat."

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9