Gorgeous mid-August weather greeted several dozen golfers and supporters of Dodge City Community College Friday as they hit the links at Mariah Hills for the 8th Annual Foundation Golf Classic.

"We had really good support this year," said Christina Haselhorst, foundation director. "There’s been lots of enthusiasm from the community."

The golf tourney raises money to advance the efforts of the DCCC Foundation. Equally important is the community outreach and awareness of the important work being done by the foundation.

"The golf tournament helps fund many of the activities of the foundation," Haselhorst said. "It may be newsletters, donor meetings, or even general office expenses. More often it’s simply to help students. We purchase things like dictionaries for the community, or we are able to add to the money we already send for scholarships."

Charlie Esquibel, vice president of Centera Bank in Dodge City, said that every year the tournament is a great time, and he enjoys being able to show support for the school while having some fun with other supporters from the community.

"We’re supporting the college through the foundation," Esquibel said, "and we like being able to come out and support it by playing golf and seeing everyone have a good time."

"This tournament is always a lot of fun," said Greg Vierthaler, a Dodge City optician who plays on the Rocking M Media team every year. "There’s good camaraderie and always a good group of people playing. "Chris is doing a great job and we’re glad to support the foundation."

"It’s absolutely important to support the college," said Brian Marshall, owner of Building Solutions. "It’s an important asset to the community. There’s a lot of opportunity, especially with the vo-tech programs, so that’s what I’m excited about."

Vierthaler estimated his team’s chances to win the tournament at "slim to none", and Esquibel laughed out loud at the talent level of his team – even bringing a few golf balls as big as melons and king-sized clubs to help his cause.

While levity and good-natured ribbing abound during the tourney, Esquibel and others said supporting the foundation’s mission is serious business.

"It’s just very important to help students get the money to go to school," Esquibel said. "This is a great opportunity to give back to students, the foundation, and the community and still have a great time."

Haselhorst said it’s the generosity from our community that allows the foundation to continue that work.

"We very much appreciate everyone who participates in the golf tournament," she said. "It enables the foundation to continue to benefit the college, students, and our community with philanthropic efforts."