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K-9 Choper golf tourney still on for July 12 at Blueberry

Facebook photo The Third Annual K-9 Choper Memorial Golf Tournament will be held July 12 at Bluberry Hill Golf Course. “As you most likely know, these tournaments have definitely made it possible for Scott Neiswonger to acquire K-9 Nic, and Tom Kibbey to acquire K-9 Dina, and for all of them to go through the required training, and also to support the ongoing expenses associated with the project,” said tournament committee member Karen Sobkowski.

Let there be golf. At least for the Third Annual K-9 Choper Memorial Golf Tournament.

There was uncertainty due to COVID-19 and recent stringent closure orders, but tournament committee member Karen Sobkowski announced this week the July 12, 2020, fundraising tournament will indeed be held at Blueberry Hill Golf Course.

“As you most likely know, these tournaments have definitely made it possible for Scott Neiswonger to acquire K-9 Nic, and Tom Kibbey to acquire K-9 Dina, and for all of them to go through the required training, and also to support the ongoing expenses associated with the project,” said Sobkowski.

“We know it has been a particularly unusual and difficult year for everyone, for both businesses and individuals alike,” said Sobkowski. “We also know that many of you who would normally want to participate with sponsorships may not be able to do so this year. Rest assured, we understand this, and hope that you will be able to come and enjoy the tournament with us nevertheless!”

“Unlike past years, we will be doing tee times during that day instead of the shotgun start,” said Neiswonger. “This will keep everyone separated and we can all enjoy the day safely… We will be having the chicken BBQ for everyone when they are done golfing. Icyy Ink will be selling shirts and other things at the turn with the hot dog stand.

“As the letter states from Karen Sobkowski, it has been a hard year for every business and people in general within Warren County. We will be raising money for sponsorships on holes and for the tournament. If you can, please think about donating as this is a major fundraiser for K9 Nic and K9 Dina. We will be sending out letters to everyone that has donated in the past or you can send your donation to Blueberry Hill Golf Course and memo “K9 CHOPER” or meet with myself or Deputy Thomas Joseph Kibbey.

“Every little bit counts and makes this tournament so successful for our K9 program in Warren County,” he said. “Thank you in advance from all of us and we are looking forward to enjoying a wonderful fun-filled day in July! Any questions or concerns, please ask, and if you would like to golf in the tournament, please get a list of your four players and contact Blueberry Hill Pro Shop to reserve a tee time. In the past, this tournament has filled up very fast, so please call and reserve your time quickly.”

For sponsorship information, contacted Sobkowski at (814) 779-8413. For golf questions, contact Blueberry at (814) 757-8620.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called for a shutdown order of all non-essential businesses nearly two months ago due to the spread of the coronavirus. He made the decision to open public and private golf courses, and driving ranges — as well as marinas and campgrounds –beginning May 1 as part of a phased re-opening of the state.

Wolf had received much pressure from businesses, including golf courses, to reopen. This included a lawsuit that included Blueberry Hill Golf Course in an attempt to force the governor’s hand. An amendment directly attacked the governor’s decision to finally open golf courses on May 1.

“On April 27, 2020, so that Pennsylvanians could ‘maintain positive physical and mental health,’ the Governor announced the opening of certain recreational activities, including golf courses and thus Petitioner Blueberry Hill Public Golf Course & Lounge, on May 1, 2020, provided they employ COVID-19 precautions,” the amended petition stated. “However, Pennsylvanians’ need to maintain positive physical and mental health existed from March 19, 2020, through May 1, 2020, as well, and Petitioner Blueberry Hill argued in its initial and subsequent filings that it was ready, willing, and able to employ COVID-19 precautions if permitted to reopen.” After being rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to overturn Wolf’s closure orders, the case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for consideration.

Among guidelines for golf courses are sanitizing golf carts after each round, allowing players to ride one to a cart, removing bunker rakes, never touching or removing the flagstick, and blocking the cup from the ball entering the hole. Pro shops can be open for limited business, but restaurants and dining areas have to be closed for dine-in service. Private clubs can not provide bag storage, either.

Blueberry announced on its website (www.blueberryhillgc.com) that it was opening on May 1 “with state and health guidelines.” The clubhouse and bar “will remain open for takeout only until further notice.”

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