Another successful year at Pine Trace!
By: Tiffany LeDonne
The 21st annual Pine Trace Golf Outing was held on Monday, August 6 to benefit Special Olympics Michigan athletes.
Since the beginning Pine Trace has brought in over $500,000 to benefit Special Olympics, and has remained consistent in attracting a great turnout of athletes and their sponsors. There was so much excitement at the event right from the start. The beautiful sunshine and cool breeze could have added to the cheerful mood everyone had, but what really brought smiles to everyone's faces was the positive energy of the athletes and volunteers.
After the athletes had time to warm up the event officially began. Sponsors who participle in the Pine Trace Golf Outing donate money to Special Olympics Michigan, upon making that donation they are then given the opportunity to golf with an athlete during the outing. Some sponsors have been participating in this event since its start 21 years ago, and many look forward to being paired with the same athlete year after year. The outing features six different skills events for the athletes to partake in: the long drive, the iron shot, pitching, chipping, the short putt and finally the long putt. The sponsors accompany the athletes at each of these skills events, offering them encouragement and support.
This year was Area 34 (Monroe County) athlete, Diania Gilbertson's 17th year participating in the Pine Trace Golf Outing. In addition to golf, Diania has competed in swimming, bowling and track and field. This year marks her 25th anniversary competing in Special Olympics. "I've got 163 medals 83 of which are gold, that's way more than Michael Phelps!" Diania said enthusiastically about reaching her 25 year milestone with Special Olympics. The reason she keeps coming back to Pine Trace year after year is to see all of her friends, have fun and add even more medals to her count!
When the competition wrapped up it was time for the medal ceremony. All athletes walked away with either a bronze, silver or gold medal depending on their division. After all the medals were handed out there was one very special award presented, the Lydia Silvani Foley Memorial Award. This award is given to one athlete every year who has shown great sportsmanship and who shows enthusiasm and support to their fellow athletes. This year that award went to Valeria Veberke from Area 15 (Oakland County). Valerie received the award with tears of joy. She was honored to have been chosen as the athlete who showed extreme sportsmanship.
President of Pine Trace Mike Bylen has been a huge part in this annual event. When asked what motivates him to continue this event year after year his response was, "after experiencing this event once you will be able to answer that question for yourself." This must be why volunteers and athletes have been coming out year after year to support Special Olympics Michigan!
- 5/25: Volleyball Tournament (Carson City, MI 48811)
- 5/30: 2013 State Summer Games (Mount Pleasant)
- 5/31: Wertz Warriors Golf Outing (Macomb)
- 5/31: Rev It Up Ride (Mt. Pleasant)
- 6/2: 7th Annual Office Lounge Golf Outing (Port Huron)
- 6/8: 2013 5K Foam Fest (Shelby Twp., Michigan)
- 6/15: 2013 MWCAA Corporate Cup Relays (Lathrup Village)
- 6/17: Area 8 Golf Invitational (East Lansing)
- 6/18: REO Golf Outing (Northville, MI 48168)
- 6/21: 6th Annual Highlands Golf Classic (Grand Rapids)