Sports

Gleneagle golf tourney raises more than $7,000 to fund construction of 9/11 memorial at Arlington Firehouse 46

ARLINGTON — With a fundraising total of more than $7,000 for the day, organizers of the Gleneagle Golf Course's first 9/11 memorial tournament on Sept. 11 of this year hope to see the event become an annual affair.

Gleneagle Golf Course General Manager Mike Simpson took pride in raising the funds for 9/11 memorial at Arlington Firehouse 46 through a combination of hole sponsorships, string and mulligan sales, and other donations.

"We had about 90 golfers sign up, with about 20 more who were walk-ons," Simpson said. "The turnout was great, considering the time constraints we had to pull it off."

When Simpson learned that Arlington firefighters would be traveling to New York City to bring back an artifact from the World Trade Center in late August, it crystallized plans he'd already made to stage a fundraiser golf tournament for firefighters on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

"I'd actually hoped to draw a full count of 144 players, but I think we did pretty well for how last-minute the organization of the event was," Simpson said. "We had to plan things with the fire department and get local businesses involved, but the response we received was great. Everyone busted their humps to make this a success."

Simpson made the tournament a four-person ball buster scramble to challenge the players, and he admitted that he hopes events such as this will increase the exposure of the Gleneagle Golf Course.

"We've gotten people today who don't normally come out to this course," Simpson said on Sept. 11. "Some people still think this golf course is shut down. We want people to think of this as a community course. We support the community because we're part of it."

Colt Saunders has roots in both the Marysville and the Arlington communities, and he was out on the links to help fund the construction of a memorial housing for the World Trade Center artifact at Arlington Firehouse 46. He graduated from Marysville-Pilchuck High School in 2006, and had just started his freshman year when the terrorist attacks struck the Twin Towers.

"It's a best day to come together," Saunders said, citing the warm, sunny weather. "We should thank our firefighters for what they do every day."

Arlington's Mike Johnson likewise praised the tournament as an opportunity to honor the first responders who risk their own lives to protect the lives and property of others.

"Mike has put in some very difficult pin placements, which makes this less straightforward and more fun," Johnson said. "Plus, you couldn't have picked a more gorgeous day to be outside."

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