Birdies 4 Babies Tees Up its Ninth Season

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Kicking off its ninth season, the annual grassroots golf fundraising program, Birdies 4 Babies, has officially launched its 2013 season. The Birdies 4 Babies season-long program welcomes golfers of all abilities, from beginners to professionals and golf clubs throughout Oregon, to collect money for birdies, great golf shots and even bogeys made during the golfing season. All proceeds support MountainStar Family Relief Nursery’s child abuse and neglect prevention programs that serve at-risk families with babies and toddlers in Deschutes County.

The 2013 fundraising goal is to raise $25,000 for MountainStar through birdies, matching gifts, and business sponsorships. The 2012 season brought birdie donations totaling $22,500, which helped MountainStar to serve 897 children and parents throughout the year including over 8,178 visits to the campus for therapeutic early childhood classes, parent training, counseling, respite care, food boxes, donated children’s clothing and diapers, and 1,653 home visits to families by staff. MountainStar saw a 21 percent increase in the number of children and parents served and a 30 percent increase in campus visits during 2012.

Since its inception, the Birdies 4 Babies program has generated $142,500 with the participation of local clubs and golfers. Participating golf courses have included Aspen Lakes Golf Club, Awbrey Glenn Golf Club, Bend Golf and Country Club, Broken Top Golf Club, Crosswater Golf Club, Juniper Golf Club, Lost Tracks Golf Club, Pronghorn Golf Club, River’s Edge Golf Club, Sunriver Resort, Tetherow and Widgi Creek Golf Club.

“As a small nonprofit organization, this grassroots campaign makes a huge difference! Birdies 4 Babies was created in 2005 by MountainStar supporters, who are also avid golfers. Nine years later, it has become a powerful way to demonstrate how much our community cares for young children,” says Executive Director Tim Rusk.

During the summer of 2005, Birdies 4 Babies was conceived by former MountainStar Board members Kathy Murch and Joanne Michael, and four good friends of MountainStar: Susan Battistella, Melinda Bailey, Shelly Hummel and Susan Weir. Following the Birdie Club and “2 Club” tradition that rewards birdies with a dollar or two paid to the golfer, these six ladies agreed to collect all of their birdie money and donate it to MountainStar. Adopting the name Birdies 4 Babies, the six women contributed $500 “birdie” dollars to MountainStar at the end of the 2005 golfing season. During the most recent 2012 Birdies 4 Babies season, local golfers from seven clubs in Deschutes County raised $22,500 for MountainStar.

To learn more about Birdies 4 Babies, check out our website at www.mountainstarfamily.org. To order a 2013 Birdies 4 Babies kit for your golf course or individual golf bag, sponsorship opportunities, or questions, please contact Jen Rusk at MountainStar Family Relief Nursery at 541-322-6820 or jenr@mountainstarfamily.org.

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