Paying it Forward for Women’s Golf

October 13, 2023

A golf tournament that started as a way to introduce women golfers to the golf courses in Durango is now a powerful fundraising event. Founders Dolly Turner and Doris Douglass started the Columbine Classic Charity Golf Tournament in 1995 at Dalton Ranch Golf Club, and in 2004 became a charity event for local nonprofit organizations in Durango. This year, members presented a $25,000 check to the Fort Lewis College Women’s Varsity Golf Team for the Nick Turner Scholarship Fund - a fund that aids the young women with their academic and athletic futures. Dalton Ranch and the Glacier Club play host to the annual two-day tournament, supporting the next generation of golfers. By Hannah Robertson and Connor Shreve. This story is sponsored by Happy Pappy’s Pizza & Wings and Tafoya Barrett & Associates

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28 years ago, two Dalton Ranch members took a look at the golf courses in Durango, at the scenery and the lack of women golfers, and decided to change that. The founding member of Columbine Classic Charity Golf Tournament was designed to bring in female golfers from around the four corners to play. And in 2004, the tournament became the fundraising force it is today. You are watching "The Local News Network," brought to you by Happy Pappy's Pizza n Wings and Tafoya Barrett and Associates. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

Since 2012, two teams, Dalton Ranch and the Glacier Club, have bonded together to run this tournament. So we accept applications every year, and our lady golfers vote on who they want to be the beneficiary. This year, the beneficiary was Stillwater Music Durango, which has wonderful programs for the schools in different areas throughout the Durango community. And then every year, we also give money to the Fort Lewis College Golf Scholarship. The Nick Turner Scholarship Fund was started by Nick and Dolly Turner, and there, we have given money every single year.

This year, the Columbine Classic Charity Tournament Committee awarded the Fort Lewis College Women's Golf Team with a $25,000 check for the Nick Turner Scholarship Fund, which was started by one of the Columbine Classic founders, Dolly Turner and her husband Nick Turner. Several scholarship recipients were at a presentation of the check to the Women's Varsity Team, both current students and alumni, who spoke to the impact the Nick Turner Scholarship Fund had on their lives.

We had two alumni with us, and they said the same thing. They said they wouldn't be where they were if it hadn't been for Fort Lewis College and the program that they were able to use. So this money that we give is a scholarship program that allows them to be able to go to school and not have to worry about working. One of the gals is from Switzerland and this is her fifth year. She said that there's no way she would've been able to be here without the scholarship program that the Nick Turner Scholarship Fund gives them. And it was very... It was just so endearing to hear them talk about how wonderful it is to be a part of this program.

The Columbine Classic has donated over $482,000 to local charities, nonprofits, and the Nick Turner Scholarship Fund since 2004. Every year, a new nonprofit is selected as a beneficiary, nominated and voted by the members of the tournament. But the Fort Lewis Scholarship Fund remains near and dear to the members' fundraising goals.

You have all the golfers here at the Glacier Club, all of the lady golfers at Dalton Ranch, and we know what it's like. I don't think any of us played golf in college. We started later in lives, and we love it. We love the socialization that golf brings to each other. And so we see that with the the Fort Lewis College golfers being able to bond together, I saw that on Wednesday. They love being there. They love being at that college, they love being in that program, and they love everything that Fort Lewis College offers them. It's just a great, great program. Their coach is wonderful. Everybody in the admin supports them. And so we're happy that we can do this and you know give them something, like I said, that they can use. I learned to golf when I was younger. And going through my business career, I was invited to golf tournaments, I was able to network and do things, and so this is something that's going to be able to help them, and it teaches them a lot of different things about life.

This year, in addition to the $25,000 for the Nick Turner Scholarship Fund, the tournament raised an additional $41,000 for Stillwater Music. The application period for next year's nonprofit is now open, and interested applicants can submit the application online at the Dalton Ranch website or by emailing one of the members. Find more information about this and other stories at Thank you for watching this edition of "The Local News Network." I'm Wendy Graham Settle.


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