BRAWLEY — Going on its 15th year, the Pioneers Memorial Hospital Foundation hosted its annual Norm Lassey Golf Tournament at the Del Rio Country Club Saturday to raise funds for much-needed projects at the hospital.
The golf tournament was a brainchild of Norm Lassey, a local businessman who got the idea for the event from a similar tournament which raised funds to benefit a local hospital in the small town of Gallup, NM. Lassey passed away in January 2016, but organizers say his legacy lives on through his work with the hospital foundation.
“When Norm got back from his trip to Gallup, he presented the idea to the rest of the board members,” said Bill Gates, a PMH Foundation board member. “This action allowed the foundation to benefit from this fundraiser by drawing many benefactors.”
Saturday’s tournament drew a big turnout with multiple chances to go home a winner. For starters, contestants participated in a putting match, where the first person to make a hole-in-one putt on the green won. Also, one of the main benefactors, Les Rodgers of Rogers & Rogers car dealerships, donated one of three cars to the contestant who could make a hole-in-one on one of the 18 holes of the course. Lastly, participants also had the opportunity to compete in a traditional round of golf to close out the evening.
In the past, the foundation’s biggest fundraiser took place when the hospital embarked on a project in 1983 for a new intensive care unit.
“This first project started a year after the founding of the PMH Foundation, and that year we raised over $500,000 to donate to this two-year project,” said Gates.
Other projects the foundation has funded at the hospital include state-of-the-art lighting for all surgical operations and the on-going parking lot improvements over the years.
In more current years, money raised from the tournament and other fundraisers will be used to purchase an endoscopic ultrasound. The endoscopic ultrasound is a less-invasive procedure to help doctors determine the possibility of digestive and lung diseases using high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the digestive tract’s lining and walls.
“This tournament was named after Lassey because of his contribution of introducing this successful event,” said Gates. “Also, for the participation that Norm gave to the projects personally.”