On Friday, June 9, local residents will tee up for a good cause — two good causes to be exact. The Eighth Annual John Metelski Memorial Golf Tournament will take place at Reston National Golf Course and will raise funds for two local organizations, the Safe Community Coalition (SCC) and the Alternative House.
The Great Falls Charitable Foundation was created in 1995 to raise money for community non-profit organizations. The golf tournament has been one of the foundation's annual events, and over the last four years, the tournament has donated more than $250,000 to charities that serve the Great Falls community.
Each year, members of the foundation decide what local organization will receive the proceeds from the tournament. This year the funds will be split evenly between the SCC and the Alternative House.
"The Safe Community Coalition organizes discussions about things like alcohol and drug use, parenting and pre-college stress," said Sheri Berman, Director of Community Relations for the SCC. "We try to bring parents and children together so they can have better communication, and we meet with them together or separately when we do our programs."
The SCC holds annual programs for schools in the Langley High School and McLean High School pyramids to help upper elementary school students, middle school students and parents to deal with issues facing teens. Some of the major events include Ethics Day, the Teen Summit and the Middle School Forum.
The Alternative House is also focused on the needs of local youth. With locations in Falls Church, Vienna and Fairfax, the Alternative House provides support to at-risk youth.
"We provide emergency shelter for teenagers, we help assist young mothers with our transitional living program, and we provide after school programs in lower income and immigrant communities," said Karen Horowtiz, Volunteer Coordinator with Alternative House. "The money that is raised at the golf tournament will go directly toward supporting these programs."
Horowitz said that right now, the cost of putting a teen up for one night in their Vienna Emergency Shelter for Teens is approximately $180.
"We have capacity for eight [teens] and we've been running full almost non-stop for the last couple of months," said Horowitz. "We average about 15 to 18 a month."
TOURNAMENT PARTICIPANTS will receive one round of golf with a cart, free range balls, beverages on the course, a gift package, a 19th hole reception, an awards ceremony and dinner. In addition there will be skill contests with door prizes and a Hole-in-One contest offering $20,000 in cash, as well as other prizes.
"Anyone can sign up," said Leigh Burke, one of the co-chairs of the tournament.
Last year's tournament raised funds for Lift Me Up! a therapeutic riding program that is based out of Great Falls.