By Erin Morris, Contributing Writer 

UMF students Jennifer McKenney, Dan Abbatello, and RJ Card participate with President Foster in the 7th Annual Maine Outdoors Golf Scramble. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Toner).

UMF students Jennifer McKenney, Dan Abbatello, and RJ Card participate with President Foster in the 7th Annual Maine Outdoors Golf Scramble. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Toner).

A little bit of wind and clouds was not enough to rain on the parade of those participating in the Seventh Annual Golf Scramble, hosted by FRC Mainely Outdoors, this past Saturday at the Turner Highland Golf Course in conjunction with Fall Fest.

With a shotgun start at 10:00am, a total of nine teams participated in the scramble including students, staff, alumni, and local residents of all different skill levels. The scramble included various activities, including an 18-hole tournament with four people per team. Costing only 50 dollars per person, the entry fee included carting, lunch, awards, and prizes.

For the past six years FRC Mainely Outdoors has hosted this event to provide an annual outdoor recreational gathering for various types of people in the community to come together and have a day of fun. This was the first time that the event also served as an opportunity for growth within the campus organizations. “This year we decided that we would try to generate a little bit of revenue for the Mainely Outdoors Program to purchase some equipment that we might not be able to purchase otherwise.” said Jim Toner, Director of the Fitness and Recreation Center.

The organizers are still tabulating the finances but with the help of sponsors such as the University Credit Union, Outdoor Sport Institute, and State Farm out of Augusta, the university was able to fund the event, generate some income, as well as provide prizes for participants. Big ticket items such as passes to Belgrade Lakes Golf Course and Sugarloaf were given to the winning teams and smaller prizes such as t-shirts and water bottles served as raffle items for spectators.

For people who play golf competitively as a part of their everyday life, this yearly event is a good way to get away from the stress that it can sometimes bring. “I played my first round when I was ten years old with my grandfather,” said Zachary Keene, the assistant baseball coach at UMF, in an email interview. “The atmosphere was a very laid back, welcoming and fun atmosphere to be a part of.  It was a good change of pace from many other scrambles I play in.”

Scott Hoisington tries his luck at the "Chip'n a canoe" contest. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Toner)

Scott Hoisington tries his luck at the “Chip’n a canoe” contest. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Toner)

Among the students and staff from UMF who participated was President Kate Foster. “My favorite part of the day was enjoying the great outdoors with my teammates, Jennifer McKenney, RJ Card, and Dan Abbatello.  Each of us contributed just when we needed it, although we lost a few golf balls along the way,” she said in an email interview. “I also love meeting the members of other teams, many of whom drove some distance to join the golf scramble.  Their support of UMF and specifically our Fitness and Recreation Center means a lot to the university.”

Keene appreciated getting to spend time with the president also.  “She could easily just play the role of President and be content with that. Instead she is involved with everything UMF. She always shows her face and it means a lot to everyone involved to see how invested she is. If she’s half the golfer that she is a person, she’s doing well.”

Luckily for anyone who missed it this time around, Mainely Outdoors is optimistic about the chances of there being another scramble next year. “I thought this year’s event was improved overall.  It was a beautiful day at a beautiful course with great people from UMF.” said Keene. “Thank you for all that helped put this tournament on.  Anyone that has not played, look into it next year.  I’ll be marking it on my calendar and I look forward to seeing you all there!”