2017 US Open

Blind Golf Championship


Thank you Green Valley Lions Club for hosting a welcome dinner on April 7 for 35 blind and visually impaired golfers and their sighted coaches representing four countries. We thank you not only for your financial support for the tournament, but for helping welcome and serving over 85 people in attendance for the welcome dinner and players meeting.

The United States Blind Golf Association (USBGA) in partnership with the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) hosted the ISPS Handa 2017 US Open Blind Golf Championship on April 8th/9th at the Torres Blancas Golf Club.

According to Lion Dick Pomo and his wife Sharon, tournament coordinators -- blind or visually impaired golfers and their sighted coaches representing the United States, Canada, Ireland and Austria took part in the two day tournament. The tournament is among the largest Open tournaments held around the world for blind and visually impaired golfers. 

Green Valley has hosted five previous tournaments, with this being the sixth tournament and second international competition. The first competitive event held here in southern Arizona was held seven years ago at the Del Lago Golf Club in Vail, Arizona.  Eleven  golfers and their coaches from the United States competed. According to the Pomos, 17 volunteers mostly from Green Valley helped to carry out the initial tournament. According to Dick, “It was then we realized if we were going to do it again we needed to bring it home to Green Valley."   

Dick and Sharon point out that they could not even attempt such a venture if it were not for the support of such a wonderful community. Many businesses, service clubs such as the Lions and individuals have stepped up to support the tournament. This year 70 plus local volunteers contributed their support and talents to the success of the tournament.


35 Teams - players and coaches - for the USBGA Tournament

Players and coaches


Some of the tournament volunteers


Lions Club Recycling Center Has Closed

Lacking managers and volunteers willing to oversee the operation, the club has no choice but to bring it to an end, president Joel Keyte said. The Lions have overseen the recycling center at the Pima County Government Center next to the Joyner-Green Valley Library since 1977.

The problem, Keyte said, is a declining and aging club membership. At 74, he is one of the younger members, while the average age is in the 80s and there are members in their 90s. Many are just not physically capable of hauling trailers or carrying buckets of recyclable materials, especially during the summer. No one from the 60 combined members of the Green Valley or La Canoa Lions Club felt willing or able to step into the management position, he said.

Keyte and Pat Crilly, from the La Canoa Club, had been overseeing the recycling center, but were worn out and told the club three years ago they needed to step down and be replaced. They continued ordering trailers and providing other oversight while replacements were sought, but stopped being active managers. No one has stepped up since.

“We came to a realization in the last year and a half or more that we can't find a replacement for ourselves,” he said.

Even with a reduced role, Keyte said he has spent 165 hours just keeping the center going since July. The Lions have also reached out to other service organizations in the area, but found most of them are facing similar problems and couldn't take over the operation.

Keyte said the club is not happy to close the center down, but it is just not able to sustain it. The organization sent out letters announcing the decision Friday to Pima County, which owns the land, and the other agencies it deals with to recycle the materials. The Lions Club still has nine years left on a 25-year lease with the county. That lease is non-transferrable, so if any other group wants to go in there, they would have to negotiate a new lease with the county, Keyte said.

Aside from dropping a community service, the move will also leave a hole in the club's budget. In 2011, the center brought in $60,000, though in the last couple years that figure has been closer to $20,000. Keyte said the drop is due to a sharp decline in the market for recycled goods, which went from $160 a ton to $80. The group also only filled 16 trailers with recyclable material last year, compared to the 20-25 it could usually fill.

The club did cut back having the center open from six days a week to three in 2014, but even after they made that move they still were filling up the same number of trailers until recently, he said.

He said he believes the club can make up the missing money through a series of smaller, short-term fundraising efforts, similar to what he saw while with other clubs in California.

Even with the Lions center closed, there are some recycling opportunities in the community. The Sahuarita Transfer Station, along La Cañada Drive south of Sahuarita Road, accepts plastic beverage containers, cardboard, paper, aluminum and tin for recycling, according to Tucson Recycling and Waste Services, which manages the site. There is no cost to drop them off, and the bins are outside the staffed entrance to the main dumping area.


Green Valley Lions Club

Celebrates 50 Years of Service


In March, 2016, the Green Valley Lions Club celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the club. The Green Valley Lions Club was organized on April 14, 1966. The Tucson Downtown and Tucson Breakfast Clubs were the sponsoring Lions Clubs. Twenty-one members appeared on the club organization report, and membership over the years has varied, with as many as 140 members at one point.

From left, Green Valley Lions Club President Glenn Fairchild, Patricia Fairchild, Past International Director Dana Biggs, and Past International President Bill Biggs.

Celebrants included Green Valley Lions, La Canoa Lions, District and State Lions, Community Partners & Organizations, community members, and friends of the Green Valley Lions Club.

President Glenn Fairchild welcoming guests to the celebration

50th Celebration Lion Centerpiece





Lions Clubs International is the world's largest service club organization with more than 1.4 million members in approximately 46,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.

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