Click photo to enlarge
Mary Bullwinkel

Beacon Correspondent

More than $8,000 was raised recently to support activities for seniors in the Eel River Valley. The Golf Ball Drop fundraiser culminated on May 11, when 500 golf balls were dropped from a helicopter at the Redwood Empire Golf & Country Club in Fortuna.

All of the golf balls had been sold at $20 each to supporters of the senior programs, with an opportunity to win cash awards if yours ended up closest to the mark on the golf course.

The winner of the $1,000 top award was Dr. Brian Calvert of Fortuna. His golf ball was closest to the mark at 65 inches away. The second place and $500 cash winner was Mary Greene when her golf ball ended up 73 inches away. Third place and $250 was awarded to Everett Tosten for being 99 inches away from the mark.

The idea was first mentioned by Fortuna Senior Services Board Vice President Marsha Hays, who discovered the same type of fundraiser being used by another group while on a trip back east.

The use of the helicopter and pilot to fly it for the fundraiser is donated by Cal-Ore Life Flight. “They donate the use of the helicopter and that is a huge and very generous donation,” Fortuna Senior Services board member Rick Center said. He also expressed his appreciation to the Redwood Empire Gold & Country Club. “They don't charges us to use the course in conjunction with this fundraiser,” Center said.

The mission of the Fortuna Senior Services is to enrich, empower, and involve boomers and beyond in the Eel River valley area. The group offers classes, presents an open mic music jamboree one Sunday a month, organizes potlucks, has an active walking group, and takes mini trips to local businesses and attractions.

Photo by Mary Bullwinkel/Beacon

Golf balls are dropped out of a helicopter at Fortuna's Redwood Empire Golf and Country Club, as part of a recent successful fundraiser for Fortuna Senior Services.