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Golf tournament will start endowment for college sports

LUMMI, Wash. - Northwest Indian College Foundation hopes to raise $25,000 in a golf tournament to expand the college's athletic program.

The tournament will be held May 17 - 18 at North Bellingham Golf Course. The foundation hopes the tournament becomes an annual event.

"It's our first step to establish an endowment," tournament volunteer Craig Bill said May 3 as he golfed in another tournament in Elma, Wash.

The two-year college currently has a basketball team that competes in the city league and tribal college tournaments, and is considering starting softball and golf teams. Bill said the college would like to see its basketball team compete on the community college level.

North Bellingham Golf Club is a solid venue for the foundation's ambitions. The 18-hole course was developed on the site of a historic ranch, and is known for its flowering meadows and gently rolling fairways. Bill said the "signature hole" is the 12th.

"Golfers enjoy panoramic views of Mount Baker while being challenged by the prevailing gale winds sweeping across the landscape of this real Scottish-style golf course," the course Web site says.

North Bellingham was the site of the 1999 Pacific Northwest Golf Association Men's Amateur Qualifier and the 2000 PGA State Assistant's Championship. It is located at 205 W. Smith Road, Bellingham. For more information, call (360) 398-8300 or e-mail nbgc@caitacusa.com

Entry fee is $200, which includes a $60 tax-deductible donation to the foundation. Corporate and individual sponsorships are being sought at $500 per hole.

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Entry fee also includes a steak dinner on May 17 at the Lummi Nation's Silver Reef Casino. Tournament prizes include a new 2003 Ford Escape for a hole-in-one, individual prizes, pin prizes, skin games and mulligan.

On May 18, an awards ceremony will be held at Nooksack Casino in Deming. The Nooksack Casino is owned by the Nooksack Tribe.

To enter, call Mary Donna Mayo, (360) 676-2772, ext. 4238; or Alex Prue, (360) 319-5921.

To become a sponsor, call Vernell Lane at (360) 392-4211.

About Northwest Indian College

Northwest Indian College is the only accredited tribal college in the Pacific Northwest. More than 1,300 students from 200 tribes study at the Lummi campus or at 24 off-campus sites.

The Lummi campus is located on the Lummi Indian Reservation northwest of Bellingham. The campus has 14 buildings. The science building houses an advanced telecommunications center with two digital satellite link-ups for distance-learning classes. This makes possible video and audio communications with downlink sites on other Washington Indian reservations, as well as other tribal campuses across the United States.

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at irishmex2000@yahoo.com.