Have you ever wondered how food and medicine are delivered to remote islands? Or how cars and gasoline are transported to Hawaii? Many such goods start here in the Pacific Northwest and are loaded onto big ships that carry them across the ocean to distant corners of the world.
The people in this industry work odd hours and long days. But for the last 20 years, many of them have taken one day off to support Virginia Mason, Boys and Girls Club and De La Salle High School at the Towboat Invitational Golf Tournament.
“Many of our lives have been touched by the fine care at Virginia Mason and the important work of the Boys and Girls Club,” says Jeff Horst, vice president of sales and marketing for tournament title co-sponsor Foss Maritime. “The maritime industry is a close-knit fraternity and the industry involvement of the Towboat Invitational is infectious to those who attend year after year.”
The tournament started over two decades ago, creating an opportunity for those in the maritime industry to connect with each other while supporting local nonprofits. Tugboat operators, ship owners, tug captains, supply vendors and other maritime professionals have the chance to network, play golf and (most years) enjoy a day of Seattle sunshine. Since its inception, the tournament has raised over $4.5 million.
“It’s fantastic to be involved in an event like this — it’s a day full of rare feel-good moments,” says Erin McClanahan, vice president of sales and marketing for Sause Bros., the tournament’s other title sponsor. “Everybody is excited to be there, to see old friends and to give back to the community.”
The event on July 8, 2019, at The Golf Club at Newcastle, welcomed over 240 golfers from across the Pacific Northwest. All told, this year’s tournament raised over $270,000. Proceeds will support Virginia Mason’s new birthing center and the Boys and Girls Club of Southwestern Oregon.
“As a father of a child who was born with a severe heart defect, I support care for our most vulnerable,” Jeff says. “Healthy children become healthy adults and we hope a few of them choose to become tugboat captains.”