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2019 Ridgway Chamber Open Awards 4 Youth Scholarships

2019 Youth Apprentice Zach Sauer accepts scholarship at Ridgway Chamber Open

Four Ridgway High School students were awarded a total of $3,500 in scholarships during the 3rd Annual Ridgway Chamber Open on Saturday. The golf tournament also raised funds to support scholarships and youth apprenticeships in 2020.

2019 Youth Apprentices Kelli Donivan, Ashley Medina and Zach Sauer were awarded scholarships funded by the 2018 golf tournament. Over the summer, the three students completed career development experiences at Lucky Find Consignments, Cowgirl Creations Floral and Gifts and RIGS Fly Shop & Guide Service, respectively.

2019 Ridgway Chamber Youth Ambassador Emma Wallin also received a scholarship. The 12th grader spent the past year representing the chamber at school events and representing youth in chamber events and publications.

“The scholarship is most important to me because I am trying to go to a university that is out of state because the nursing program that I have chosen is a specialty and you have to transfer to a different university after the first two years. That tends to be very expensive, so the scholarship will help me transfer after my first two years,” said Wallin, who plans to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.

In addition to the youth awards, more than a dozen prizes and awards were given to players at the tournament, organized by the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for youth programs. A portion of player fees plus sponsorships by more than 25 area businesses make the event possible and produce scholarship money. RiverSage, a local real estate developer, was the platinum sponsor.

The Glacier Club in Durango sponsored a golf package prize, which was one by the team with the best gross score, a team called The Old Farts that was comprised of Tom Allen, Jeff Burwell, Wayne Landis, and Dudley Shaw. Telluride Ski & Golf Resort sponsored a golf package prize, won by Wills Archer, Heath Down, Jeff Mertens, and Robben Petty of the Flora Davita team for having the best net score. Both teams also will have their team names engraved on two trophies donated by Billings Artworks, the Ridgway company that produces the Grammy awards annually.

Players were also awarded for longest drives, getting closest to the pin, an honesty award for the lowest score, and other golf-related games. Among the awards were other golf package prizes from Divide Ranch & Club, Cedaredge Golf Club, and the Links at Cobble Creek.

In addition to the youth apprenticeships and youth ambassador program, the Ridgway Chamber also supports the career development of local students through a Volunteer & Career Fair each spring. Each program is aimed at not only helping develop the talents and skills of young people, but also providing opportunities for local businesses and nonprofits to connect with youth, said Chamber Board Vice President Tim Patterson.

The chamber receives 70% of the lodging tax from the Town of Ridgway, which was $55,836.59 in 2018, and uses it for marketing such as the annual Visitors Guide,, and various tourism promotion initiatives. Through chamber programs, the town is part of the Colorado Creative Corridor and Historic Hot Springs Loop, promoted on the state’s tourism website and advertising programs.

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