LAND O'LAKES — Sandra Porter didn't have much support when she got pregnant as a teenager, so these days, she is dedicated to helping young girls in the same situation realize that someone cares.
Through a partnership of local churches, the Oasis Pregnancy Care Center was born in October 2009. Porter and a staff composed almost entirely of volunteers provide all kinds of support to teenage mothers, including free pregnancy tests, parenting classes, ultrasounds and post-abortion counseling, among other programs.
That's where golf comes in.
In order for the center to keep its doors open, Porter and the board of directors organize fundraisers like the annual golf tournament, which was held Saturday at the Groves Golf and Country Club.
"We have about 100 people playing in this tournament," Porter said. "It's a lot of pastors and people who have come to know us over the last two and a half years, and I think the tournament has become a great way for us to raise funds. Through our sponsors, the staging of the tournament is paid for, so the registration fees go straight to us."
While the tournament is well attended by a number of local advocates and pastors, many are just golfers seeking to enjoy their recreation with a purpose. Connerton residents Mark Mills and Shelly Kraning hadn't picked up their clubs in months, but were glad to dig them out of the garage to support what Oasis does.
"This tournament is very organized for a scramble," Kraning said. "Usually these types of tournaments are chaotic, but I'd have to say this is probably one of the most organized scrambles I've ever done. It's good to come out and support the cause and it's been a really nice way to start my birthday celebration as well."
The Groves is an executive course, keeping the best ball scramble format tournament to a decent amount of time while still providing a course that challenges the golfer.
After doing the first tournament at a full-length course, Porter said Oasis found a permanent home for its event at the Groves.
"This is the perfect venue for us," Porter said. "Normally if you have a tournament like this, it takes four hours or more to play it, but last year we held it here for the first time and it took just a few hours. The staff here is incredible and the course is really well taken care of. The golfers all love it."
For the golfers, the day is more about fun than actually competing to win the tournament. David Bamberry is familiar with the center through his church and was glad to exchange a day on the links with his friends for a few dollars to go toward a good cause.
"The greens are in great shape and you can't beat this weather," Bamberry said. "I come out because the folks over at Oasis are friends and seeing what they do is great. This venue is a really a cool little course, and I remember the first year it was held in July, so I'm glad they moved to April so we could enjoy this weather."