Morton Golf Foundation Alumnus Receives Award

Morton Golf Foundation Alumnus Sarah Debnekoff saves a life

sarah_groupA few weeks ago, Sarah Debnekoff’s mother, Pam, sent Jane Siebers a text asking if she and her husband, Rob, would attend a “Life Saving Award” presentation. This presentation would be put on by the Sacramento Metro Fire District and Anatolia Homeowners Association honoring Sarah Debnekoff. Immediately, they said yes. Sarah has been a volunteer with The First Tee of Greater Sacramento and with the Morton Golf Foundation since she was 9 1/2 years old.

Last summer, Sarah took a job as a lifeguard in her neighborhood community of Anatolia in Rancho Cordova, CA. There was an incident where a boy was drowning and Sarah saved him by giving him CPR while 911 was called. The boy is now doing well and enjoying life with his family.

sarah_lifesavingawardAt the age of 9 1/2, Sarah Debnekoff and her family moved to Sacramento. At that time, Sarah’s interest in golf peaked and they found local golf programs for Sarah through The First Tee of Greater Sacramento at the William Land Golf Course. Through this beginning, years of golf programs, tournaments, many friendships & mentoring began.

Sarah has had many accomplishments through her time with The First Tee of Greater Sacramento and Morton Golf Foundation. She has helped raise thousands of dollars for junior golf. One of her greatest achievements was winning a full ride golf scholarship to Morehead State University in Kentucky. Today, she is a junior and playing on the Women’s Golf Team. Also, when Sarah graduated from high school, she was awarded the “Community Service” Scholarship from Morton Golf Foundation to further her education. Her goal is to go into the health care field where she will continue to help and mentor others along her way.

Sarah is a remarkable young women that continues to live by the core values of The First Tee of Greater Sacramento and Morton Golf Foundation that she was taught as a child. Everyone at the Morton Golf Foundation is so proud of her and wishes her continued success as she continues her journey.


3rd Annual Sacramento Golf Marathon “100 Holes of Golf” a Resounding Success

sgm-shamar-2016The Sacramento Golf Marathon was created to help raise money to fund junior golf grants given out to junior golfers between the ages of 8 – 18. These grants are financial support for families to help their children learn to complete, develop skills, enhance core values and build lasting relationships through the game of golf.

On Monday, November 14, 2016, 7 adults committed to playing “100 Holes of Golf” as they asked for donations and pledges from friends and families that would help support this mission. As the weeks passed, the e-mails were sent and donations came in and the financial total started to rise. In playing the “100 Holes of Golf” we make sure everyone knows there are no rules, no score and no lost golf balls. You just tee off and get the ball in the hole. The golfers all carry several experienced golf balls with them as they play and most golf balls are donated along the way.

sgm-girls-at-bing-2016When the junior golfers started to hear about the “100 Holes of Golf”, they and their families were eager to join in and play to help grow junior grants. The only stumbling block was the kids were in school on Monday, November 14. Quickly a second date was added for Saturday, November 12, 2016, for the juniors, their friends and families to play on a day they were available to help raise even more money to fund junior golf grants for 2017. Twenty three juniors and participants joined in on a beautiful sunny Saturday at the Bing Maloney Golf Course in Sacramento, CA! The excitement and speed was at an all-time high. As a spectator, I kept hearing as groups whizzed by that it was the perfect time to make a “hole in one” as they were playing on the E-9 at Bing Maloney Golf Course which includes several par 3’s.

We even had a couple of foursomes that decided to play their “100 Holes of Golf” at their own course and donate the proceeds back to the junior grant programs. Either way, the junior golfers are the true WINNERS!

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If you would like to play in our next “100 Holes of Golf”, the date for 2017 is already set! Mark your calendars for Monday, November 13, 2017 and join us at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex. Contact Rob Siebers at rjjsiebers@gmail.com for more information.

Thanks for believing in our mission as Morton Golf Foundation continues to enrich lives through the game of golf.


3rd Annual Sacramento Golf Marathon being held on November 14, 2016 at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex

On Monday, November 14, 2016 there will be several golfers that will be playing our Golf Marathon,  “100 Holes of Golf” to help raise money to give back to junior golf grants through Morton Golf Foundation.

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Picture from last year’s 100 Holes of Golf

A junior golf grant is defined as financial support for families to help their children 18 years old and younger to learn to compete, develop skills, enhance core values & build lasting relationships through the game of golf.

As each golfer tees off to play their “100 Holes of Golf” there are no rules. The only object is to get the ball in the hole. There are no lost balls. There is no score. There are no time frame. Everyone is out there to have fun and support junior grants. Each group that is out there will have a volunteer ahead of them to let golfers on the course know that the marathon golfers are coming through. Last year Tom Morton and Mike Woods played their 100 holes in record time. The golfer never waits. Just hit the ball and keep moving. Your 100 holes are done in no time. Feel free to add any players to your TEAM to help you play the 100 holes of golf.

The Sacramento Golf Marathon that day is played on the MacKenzie Golf Course, Arcade Creek Golf Course and The Putting Course near the driving range. Everyone is there as a fundraising event and to support Morton Golf Foundation.

For more information and to sign up please contact: Rob Siebers, rjjsiebers@gmail.com


Putting Party 2016: Team Boutin Jones was Unstoppable!

With over 110 putters competing for the title, and having so much fun along the way, it was clear that the best putters this year at the 2016 Putting Party were on the Boutin Jones Team.
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The 2016 Putting Party For A Cure was another huge success. The night kicked off with special guests from the Sacramento Kings, Garrett Temple and Bryan Gates. Garrett and Bryan shared their personal journey through golf and their excitement for the upcoming NBA season. Next, the putters enjoyed the putting course, trying to make as many one putts as possible in the scramble format. With Frank LaRosa announcing the music on, the Putting putting-party-kings-2016Event always feels like a big party. After the putting fun, the party moved to the Haggin Oaks Pavilion for dinner and awards. The night was highlighted by Morton Golf Foundation recipient Shamar Knox sharing his involvement in golf and his bright future.

Of course the night would not have been possible without the support of all the players and sponsors, especially the title sponsor Boutin Jones. The important funds raised through the event are specifically raised to support the Boys and Girls Club of Sacramento, Special Olympics of Northern California, and the California Eagles Programs.

We look forward to seeing everyone next year!

Article created by Morton Golf Foundation Vice President Mike Woods.


Special Olympics Regional Golf Competition at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex

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As the Special Olympic Athletes were gathering their teams and several volunteers were meeting early this morning the air was cool and the winds were blowing. It was getting close to the time to play golf.

img_0464Every person arrived with a smile on their face and a positive attitude. What a pleasure to be gathered in a group of people where everyone wants to be there. It was now time for the Athletes to recite the Special Olympics creed along with our National Anthem. Tom Morton, President of Morton Golf Foundation added a few kind words to thank everyone for coming and wishing everyone a fun day. At this time Tom Morton announced “Let the Games Begin” and everyone was off.

A few hundred Special Olympic Athletes, Caregivers & Volunteers headed to the back Driving Range & Academy Holes to show off their golf skills. They competed in a variety of different golf skills in the hopes of winning their medals which each winner wears proudly.

There was  a large group of more experienced Athletes that competed and played 9-holes of golf with a partner on the Arcade Creek Golf Course. Their golf scores reflected the fun they had as more medals were won.

img_0468Morton Golf Foundation is proud to be a co-sponsor of the 2016 Special Olympics Sacramento Regional Golf Competition.
What an honor and privilege to see several of the same Athletes return each year.

We are happy to call these Athletes our friends.

We look forward to seeing you again next year!


Morton Golf Foundation Supports Special Olympics Polar Plunge Fundraiser August 15th, 16th & 17th

Morton Golf Foundation is very proud to support the Special Olympics in a 3 day fundraiser at “Taste of Tuscany” restaurant in Antelope, CA.

Spec Oly TorchOne of Morton Golf Foundation’s very own Special Olympic Athlete, Jonathan Sparks came to us for an idea for a fundraiser for him to raise money to compete in a Special Olympic event called the Polar Plunge next February at Nimbus Dam in Folsom. The Owners of “Taste of Tuscany” restaurant Jeremy & Natalee Price offered to host their restaurant for 3 days by giving 20% of anyone’s food bill to support Special Olympics.

Spec Oly Connie's groupLast night around 4:45 p.m. Jonathan Sparks arrived with Special Olympic posters, winning medals around his neck & wearing his Special Olympics shirt that was given to him for participating in the torch relay last year for the summer games. By 5:30 p.m. close to 60 friends of Morton Golf Foundation had flooded their restaurant in support of Special Olympics. Jonathan was so proud as he went table to table to welcome everyone and thank them for coming.

Spec Oly Rob & JonathanWhen Jonathan left for the evening he was confident and so proud as he was well on his way to meeting his financial fundraising goal.

Morton Golf Foundation wishes to thank “Taste of Tuscany” and Special Olympics for giving Jonathan Sparks another opportunity to shine.


Morton Golf Foundation Supports 25TH Annual Sacramento Junior/Senior “Funvitational”

On Friday, July 29th a full field of golfers gathered under the American Flag on Hole #1 of the MacKenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks to kick-off the 25th Annual Junior/Senior Golf Championship.

Jr Sr Shamar 2016Leah Woods (Age 13) sang the National Anthem beautifully, with all the confidence we all wish we had. It was now time for the golfers to drive to their designated golf hole as the “candy float” was being built. Morton Golf Foundation volunteers headed out in their decorated cart offering frozen Snickers bars and animal crackers to give the golfers energy, strength and power.

This is a tournament not to be missed. A senior (over the age of 18) and a junior golfer (Ages 7 – 17) play as a 2-person TEAM to try and win prizes and recognition for the Junior Tour of The First Tee of Greater Sacramento. This is a fun time for a parent, grandparent, friend or sponsor to play next to a junior golfer as they compete as a TEAM in a scramble format.

jr_sr_bestdressed1It is encouraged to have your 2-person TEAM dress alike to build sportsmanship and integrity with your playing partner. The fun is to come out and see the creativity these players put into their TEAM threads.

Annually at this event, The First Tee of Greater Sacramento gives out their yearly college scholarships rewarding High School Seniors. These scholarships are given out based on the achievements and community hours that each student has given throughout their high school years.

Morton Golf Foundation each year sponsors the “Ken Morton, Sr. Scholarship” award. This year it was given to Jack Dibachi a graduating senior from Whitney High School.
Jack will be attending University of California – Santa Barbara and we wish him the BEST as he moves forward to his college life.

Watch for the 2017 Jr/Sr Funvitational next summer. If you don’t know of a junior golfer The First Tee of Greater Sacramento will make sure one is available for you to play golf with.

Hope to see you there!


Support the Special Olympics Polar Plunge

specialolympicsThe Special Olympics Northern California is partnering with Morton Golf Foundation to support the Special Olympics Polar Plunge at ‘Taste of Tuscany’ Italian Restaurant

Torch run Spec Oly JonathonEach year Jonathan Sparks, Morton Golf Foundation’s very own Special Olympian and 2015 World Summer Games Torch Bearer raises money to give back to support a cause that is near and dear to his heart: Special Olympics Northern California. This year, Taste of Tuscany is supporting Jonathan by donating 20% of the food bills for all tables that come in to support Jonathan on the following dates:

Monday evening (August 15) from 11:00am – 5:00pm
Tuesday evening (August 16) from 11:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday evening (August 17) from 11:00am – 5:00pm

The donation will be given directly to Special Olympics Northern California Polar Plunge Fundraiser in care of Jonathan Sparks.

tasteoftuscanyMeet Jonathan at Taste of Tuscany on Monday, August 15 at 5:00pm. If you cannot attend on Monday, August 15, come out on Tuesday, August 16 or Wednesday, August 17 for dinner to have 20% of your dinner bill still donated to this worthy cause.

We hope to see you there!

Taste of Tuscany Italian Restaurant is located at 7753 Roseville Road, Suite #A in Sacramento, CA 95842.

logoAbout the Morton Golf Foundation
The Morton Golf Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit corporation established and operated exclusively for charitable purposes. The Morton Golf Foundation vision is to enrich the lives of the less fortunate through the great game of golf. To learn more about how you can help, contact Jane Siebers at jsiebers@hagginoaks.com


Sacramento Golf Marathon Raises Money for Morton Golf Foundation

Sacramento Golf Marathon and “100 Holes of Golf”

Greg Perry plays catch up . . .

S G M Greg Parry 2015Last Monday, December 14, 2015, ten brave souls played over “100 Holes of Golf” to raise money for local youth, disabled and underserved through Morton Golf Foundation (MGF). Greg Perry, Morton Golf Foundation (MGF) Board Member, was unable to play on that day, so he chose December 22, 2015 to complete his journey of playing 100 holes of golf. On Monday, December 21, Sacramento received a considerable amount of rain so when Greg teed off on Tuesday, the course rules were cart path only. Carts were not allowed on the course all day which added a considerable amount of walking and time to Greg’s goal of completing his “100 Holes of Golf” challenge.

Greg Perry teed off with his son, Ryan, and their friend, Keaton Sutherland. Keaton is the son of another MGF Board member, Kevin Sutherland. Kevin drove the cart and cheered on the threesome through their 100 holes (see group photo attached). Another great friend, Steve Stoll, was their “wingman” and went out in front to make sure all was clear and to let other players on the course know that the marathon golfers were coming through.

When Jane Siebers, Morton Golf Foundation Administrator, asked Greg how long it took them to play 100 holes of golf, Greg answered that they played, “one minute quicker than Mike Woods and Tom Morton!”

In fact, Greg Perry issued a challenge for he and his son, Ryan, to play Mike Woods and Tom Morton in another 100 holes of golf on the side. Greg did say he would play Mike and Tom only if they could find a tee box since Mike and Tom would tee it up from the edge of the putting green and skip the tee boxes altogether when they played their 100 holes of golf the previous week. Mike Woods responded that, “we’d love to accept this challenge. I say the winning score is determined by adding up the number of holes played, plus the time it takes to play.” Who will be the real winner of this latest challenge? We all know the REAL winner is youth, disabled and underserved through this wonderful game of golf. The entire TEAM that played in the Sacramento Golf Marathon raised close to $26,000.00.

Everyone is excited and ready to play again next year.


Arcade Fundamental Middle School Plants Valley Oak Trees on Haggin Oaks Golf Complex

Last summer, Ms. Terri Thacker attended a Teacher workshop called FIT which stands for Forestry Institute for Teachers (www.forestryinstitute.org). At this workshop, she met Mike De Lasaux, a Natural Resource Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension, who directs the FIT program and the acorn planting story started . . .

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Terri contacted Mike to ask about help for a Community Service project that she wanted her students to do. Mike said he would help her, so he used Google Earth to determine potential oak planting sites near the Arcade Fundamental Middle School. The Haggin Oaks Golf Complex jumped out as the closest, so Mike sent an inquiry to see if there was interest. He then met Stacy Baker, Golf Course Superintendent at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, to discuss the potential of planting several oak seedlings on the golf course property and a Community Service project opportunity to Ms. Thacker’s 7th and 8th graders. With agreement to develop the project from the golf course, Mike and Terri developed a couple of environmental education grants to help purchase materials necessary to grow the seedlings. Mike also contacted the Morton Golf Foundation to ask if they would be interested in a small grant to use as a grant match and help this dream to become a reality. The Morton Golf Foundation is always looking for ways to help children with education and to provide a healthy outdoor environment. They approved the grant and the project was off and running. The match was important to receiving a grant from Project Learning Tree’s GreenWorks grant program.

Teacher Terrie Thacker had her 7th & 8th grade class at Arcade Fundamental Middle School gather acorns. They then put the acorns in water to see which ones would float or which ones would sink. If the acorn sank, that meant it would likely germinate. They then put the acorns in sandy soil and watered them regularly to wait for the roots to appear. The students were excited and celebrated when the acorns germinated.

Arcade Acorn Planting 3When Ms. Thacker’s students had 50 acorns with roots, it was time to contact Stacy Baker at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex to let him know it was time to plant the seedlings. Stacy then got his crew to dig 50 holes 18” deep in an open greenbelt area off of Hole # 7 on the MacKenzie Golf Course at Haggin Oaks. The students came out to plant on Friday, December 4, 2015. Future golfers should know that these 50 newly planted seedlings are in a greenbelt area that will never come into play on the golf course!

Arcade Acorn Planting 5Ms. Thacker and her students will be coming back to the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex next March to check on the seedlings survival and growth. In the meantime, Stacy Baker and his crew at Morton Golf will also continually check on the seedlings to offer water when needed in hopes of the seedlings taking root.

Stacy Baker has commented that he hopes Haggin Oaks will get at least 3 to 6 big trees out of this project.

We all hope that this helped Ms. Thacker and her students implement their Community Service project and provided them with the knowledge of tree growth. Hopefully, Ms. Thacker’s future classes will do more tree planting projects at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex too.