Tuesday, August 14, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / Sports Lead

The following article was posted on August 30th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 26 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 26

Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians support local museums with golf tournament


The Alisal River Course in Solvang is the same color as the funds raised by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians at the 13th annual Chumash Charity Golf Classic: gorgeous green. The event took place Aug. 23 through 24 this year, when dozens of golfers raised thousands of dollars for local organizations.

Since the first tournament in 2005, the Chumash have raised more than $1 million for local charities and nonprofits including the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Lompoc Family YMCA, Unity Shoppe, and the Buellton Senior Center.

Golfers at the Chumash Charity Golf Classic play to raise funds for local charities and nonprofits. Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, Wildling Musuem of Art and Nature, and the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum were among the beneficiaries this year.

This year, the proceeds from the Golf Classic will be distributed among five Santa Barbara County museums—the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum, Wildling Museum of Art and Nature, Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

“These museums are great sources of knowledge and history, and they provide quality educational programming for children throughout Santa Barbara County,” Kenneth Kahn said in a release. Kahn became tribal chairman for the Chumash in 2016, but has worked on the band’s business committee since 2003.

Educating the tribe’s youth has always been one of Kahn’s main interests while serving as chairman. The decision to donate the tournament funds to museums this year also came from a place of empathy, he explained.

“We’re in the process of planning our Chumash Museum,” Kahn said in the release. “We’re familiar with the resources it takes to create and maintain a high-level experience for museum guests.”

Funds raised for the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum will help support the museum’s weekly education programs, Executive Director Chris Slaughter told the Sun.

The programs include Tuesday Tales, Preschool Patrol, Passport Thursday, Fit Friday, Science Saturday, and Super Sunday.

“These much-needed funds will be used to provide weekly hands-on enrichment and educational experiences through our programs. We are so honored to be chosen as a beneficiary, as the only children’s museum in Santa Barbara County for 21 years,” Slaughter said. “Over 32,000 children a year get to participate in our programs, and it is all thanks to charity events like this one.”

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will use the proceeds to support their own youth education programs as well.

The 13th annual Chumash Charity Golf Classic took place Aug. 23 through 24 at the Alisal River Course in Solvang. Besides the game itself, golfers took in the panoramic view of the Santa Ynez mountains.

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature, will put the funds from the tournament toward the ongoing campaign to purchase the museum’s building, which is currently mortgaged. The Wildling Museum was located in Los Olivos but moved to Solvang a few years ago, and officials hope to pay off the building soon.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for us.” Wildling Assistant Director Katie Pearson told the Sun. “We’ve been trying to raise enough to purchase the building all year.”

This isn’t the first time the Chumash have helped raise funds for the museum, Pearson said. The band has sponsored various museum events, including Wildling’s annual spring barbecue.

“They’ve supported us so much in the past, and it’s always appreciated,” Pearson said. “Every fund gets us closer to finally purchasing our permanent home.”

Proceeds to the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum will go toward improving its Conservation Center, which “conserves, preserves, and exhibits” the museum’s collection, Executive Director Brian Stenfors told the Sun.

“We have a wonderful facility, but we’ve never really had the resources to make many state-of-the-art improvements,” Stenfors said. “Now we finally have that opportunity, and we’re so grateful to be chosen.”

Stenfors doesn’t have much golf experience, he said, otherwise he’d be playing at the tournament himself. But this probably wouldn’t be the case if the charity was a horse-riding competition, he said.

“I’m an equestrian, not a golfer,” Stenfors said, laughing. “The closest I’ve ever been to a golf course is when I’m riding near one.” 

Contributor Caleb Wiseblood can be reached through Managing Editor Joe Payne at jpayne@santamariasun.com.

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