Social distancing guidelines make minor tweaks to OPVA Gold Cup Golf Tournament

The Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America (OPVA) are hosting their 11th annual Gold Cup Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 18 at the McNary Golf Club. The funds raised at the tournament go to the OPVA, but anyone is welcomed to register.

The cost is $400 for a team of four or $125 for an individual golfer. These fees pay for green fees, golf carts and a boxed lunch. Registration is at 10 a.m. and the awards ceremony (observing social distancing) will be at 5:45 p.m.

Because of social distancing guidelines, they are capping the number of participants to 80 golfers.

“We’re a little over half full right now,” said Tom Hurt, executive director of the OPVA. In addition to golfers they are also looking for hole sponsors.

The Oregon chapter of the national OPVA covers all of Oregon, all of Idaho and part of southwest Washington. OPVA is an organization dedicated to helping veterans understand and receive their full entitlements as a former service member.

“And then above and beyond [helping service members receive entitlements], the chapter has a variety of different programs that we operate on a regular basis,” Hunt said. He listed the hospital liaison program (members visiting other members in the VA Hospitals) and government relation program (advocating for disabled people as well as for veterans) as examples.

According to Hunt one of their biggest focuses at the moment was the Air Carriers Act, which holds companies responsible for damages done to wheelchairs when flying.

“If their wheelchair is damaged, when they get to their destination, they’re stranded… we have legs, we can walk away, [but] their mode of transportation is now gone,” Hunt said.

The golf tournament is a part of their most popular program, the sports and recreation program, where every member gets a $250 allowance to use for recreation purposes.

“If it’s dinner out with family members, they can use it for that. If it’s gas for their car to take a road trip they can use it for that. Our main goal is [tp show] life’s not over just because you’re in a wheelchair,” Hunt said.

The tournament is a fundraiser for OPVA, which relies on fundraising and donations to operate. “The golf tournament has always been one of our large fundraising events every year,” Hunt said, though he noted that they had to make some adjustments due to social distancing. To comply with the safety guidelines there will be more time allotted for registration to keep attendees six feet apart and the banquet at the end of the tournament will be replaced with a box lunch.

Register and pay online at The McNary Golf Club is located at 155 McNary Estates Dr N.