Progress for Prostate golf tournament returning to Cripple Creek

The 9th Annual Progress for Prostate Golf Tournament will be returning to Cripple Creek Golf and Country Club later this summer, and the number of participants is soaring. The tournament was introduced nearly a decade ago by local playwright Bob Davis, a prostate cancer survivor himself, who cited the entertaining aspects of the event — along with a growing awareness of prostate cancer’s health risks — as the reasons for the tournament’s success.

“Over the years,” Davis noted, “the momentum of this event has really gone up. People these days are aware that, if detected early,” those diagnosed with prostate cancer “have up to a 90 percent survival rate. If you don’t get tested early enough, though, it could be too late.”

The tournament raises funds for free prostate cancer screenings, provided by the Beebe Medical Foundation. To date, more than $160,000 has been raised for screenings in the area. The funds have helped fund a mobile screening program that is brought into area communities.

According to the American Cancer Society, other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in American men, with an estimated 241,740 new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2012. Roughly one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, with the average age at the time of diagnosis being around 67 years old.

The tournament, set for Thursday, July 19, is a step-aside team shamble, open to men and women of all skill levels, and will take place at Cripple Creek starting at 1 p.m. Player fees include entry to the longest-drive and closest-to-the-pin competitions, a putting contest and hole-in-one contests set at each par-3 hole. Registration includes entry into the golf tournament, as well as dinner, prizes and an auction on Thursday evening.

Individual fees are $125 per person, and $500 per foursome, with a portion of the fees being tax-deductible. Each additional guest who is not playing in the tournament may attend dinner on Thursday, July 19, for $30. Registration is currently open, and will continue up until an hour before the golf tournament if space is available, but for past events, registration has filled up well in advance, so those interested are being encouraged to act quickly.

“We are so far ahead in registrations already,” said Davis, “I can’t believe it. We have a lot of terrific supporters throughout the community and great sponsors that help with the event.”

Local businesses have chipped in auction items, while area Realtors have sponsored cash and prizes for numerous tournament challenges being held throughout the event. An autographed picture and book by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, also a prostate cancer survivor, will also be available for bidding.

This year, the tournament’s honorary chairman is local magician and entertainer Rich Bloch, who will present a magic show during an Italian dinner buffet held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 18, at Cripple Creek Country Club. Although the dinner and show is held in conjunction with the golf tournament, the event is open to the public. Admission costs $30. Guest speakers and representatives from the Beebe Medical Foundation will also be on hand at the July 18 event to discuss the risks of prostate cancer.

For more information about the tournament or to register golfers, call Cripple Creek’s Club House at (302) 539-1446, ext. 1. For reservations for the magic show and dinner on Wednesday, July 18, call Cripple Creek’s food and beverage services at (302) 539-1446, ext. 2.