Golfers tee off for Alberta’s youth

Small white balls and the welfare of central Alberta’s youths were the focus on May 31

Bryan Noordhof (left) works his short game during the Youth Unlimited golf tournament while teammates Norman Noordhof (center) and John van Gyssel look on.

Bryan Noordhof (left) works his short game during the Youth Unlimited golf tournament while teammates Norman Noordhof (center) and John van Gyssel look on.

Small white balls and the welfare of central Alberta’s youths were the focus on May 31 as the annual Youth Unlimited golf tournament got underway at the Ponoka Golf and Country Club.

“We expect to raise $30,000,” said Youth Unlimited executive director Jacob Schellenberg. The money raised from the golf tournament goes toward the operating costs of the organization’s programming.

Youth Unlimited is a faith-based organization serving the communities of Ponoka, Rimbey, Lacombe and Red Deer. It takes a “holistic” approach to children of any or no denominations. “We will work with any kid, we see the potential in any kid,” said Schellenberg.

With work that ranges from instruction in a child’s classroom to fun activities in their down time, those associated with Youth Unlimited look to create a foundation of wellbeing in several different areas of youths’ lives. “We see the benefits in the lives of kids . . . we get to help them write their positive stories,” said Jerel Peters, area director for Youth Unlimited.

The tournament has been operating for more than a decade, with its last eight years in Ponoka. This year 148 golfers teed off, putting in their time for the cause. “Working with students is hard work and it’s a lot easier with the community behind you,” said Schellenberg.

There were also some big prizes up for grabs at a number of the holes. The tournament boasted two $10,000 holes and a $35,000 Ford Mustang was also thrown into the mix.