Golf tourneys raise money for foster families, special needs camps | Local news

If golf is your game and giving is your passion, two upcoming fundraisers provide the opportunity to indulge both.

First up is the Inaugural More than a Bed Golf Tournament at 7 a.m. April 28 at Quarry Pines Golf Club, 8480 N. Continental Drive.

Organizers of the fundraiser hope it will prove profitable for More Than A Bed Foster and Adoptive Resource Center, a nonprofit founded in 2014 by Grace Stocksdale to support foster families and the children in their homes by providing for their needs.

“The whole point is to try and make these kids feel valued. We help the families so they can then pay more attention to the children,” said Stocksdale.

She recognized the need for the organization when she realized that many foster and adoptive children — including “kinship” placements who live with grandparents or other extended-family members —lack beds, clothing and other basic necessities when they join their new families.

Stocksdale said it costs between $200 and $800 to prepare for placement of a child and that expenses rack up quickly when families must purchase beds and other supplies in addition to everyday needs.

“For the average family, $800 is a lot to lay out. Some people say, ‘Don’t foster families get paid by the state?’ They get paid about $20 per day, per child. That needs to cover clothes, shoes, and food; and if it is an infant, they also need diapers and formula, a crib and baby supplies. You just can’t do it for $20 a day,” Stocksdale said.

The Resource Center offers new and gently-used beds, mattresses, children’s furniture, baby supplies (cribs, car seats, diapers, high chairs), clothing, shoes, household items, toys and more. The items are in a warehouse staged like a department store where families can get things for free.

Each year the warehouse serves at least 450 families, which translates into more than 1,000 children.

“We want them to have a chance to succeed in this life,” Stocksdale said.

Support for two camps

Providing opportunities for youth success is also the goal of the 13th annual Tucson Breakfast Lions Club Drive “Fore” Sight Golf Classic Scramble on May 6 at Forty Niner Country Club, 12000 E. Tanque Verde Road.

Tournament coordinators Pete Weakland and Dom Dominice said funds raised at the Cinco de Mayo-themed tournament are vital for two nonprofits that provide services to those with special needs: Camp Tatiyee and Camp Abilities.

“These are two of the only camps in Arizona that offer opportunities for individuals with special needs. Camp Tatiyee gives them the opportunity to spend a week away from home in the White Mountains to enjoy activities and meet new friends, all free of charge,” said Dominice.

Each summer, the camp in Pinetop-Lakeside serves almost 600 campers ages 7 and older. Tatiyee campers enjoy arts, recreation and sports such as swimming, archery and fishing, A medical staff and special counselors allow the camp to accommodate those who are blind and deaf as well as those who live with challenges such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries or amputations.

Camp Abilities provides opportunities closer to home through the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. The camp offers one-on-one instruction in adaptive sporting and recreational activities for children in middle school and high school who are blind, deaf or have multiple disabilities.

“We believe that everyone deserves to be accepted, loved and respected. These camps … help them embrace their abilities by asking ‘How’ rather than ‘If,’” said Dominice.

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