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UWRF athletics hosts Don Page Memorial Tournament

Falcon News Service

April 29, 2016

For the 31st consecutive year, the Don Page Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the River Falls Golf Club on June 20 to raise money for the UW-River Falls Athletics Department.

The tournament is centered on teams of four, and includes lunch, gifts, dinner and prizes. The invitation is extended to all levels of golfing experience. To submit a team, a $500 fee is required, or $125 per person.

For the second year in a row, according to a brochure advertising the tournament, a special invitation has been extended to all former members of women’s athletic teams, their guests and fans of women’s athletics. According to members of the Athletics Department, the tournament committee has never had a women on it, and the push to get more women involved has been noted.

The tournament honors the late Don Page, who worked at UWRF from 1957-1992, initially as head basketball and baseball coach and ultimately as athletics director. Page died in 2010.

David Page, son of Don Page, said he wants more women involved in the golf tournament and that organizers have tried in years past to increase interest.

“Actually I decided to do it a long time ago,” Page said, “and it was actually (former UWRF Chancellor) Ann Lydecker, during her comments at the podium at a golf tournament, that encouraged my dad (Don Page) to encourage more women to participate.

“It made me angry because Dad would never turn down anyone’s check. So the next year, I sponsored a foursome of women and I paid for them all, under the stipulation that the next year they each get their own foursome, and we would have at least 16 women’s golfers up there,” Page said. “And those guys didn’t come through, and they came with their hands empty so I said okay, and I paid for them again.”

Page said the golf tournament is not just about making money for athletics, but a way for old friends to come together and enjoy a day of golf.

“It’s a way for people, like the old timers, to keep in touch,” he said. “I think the Falcon football team has one, I think the golf team has one, the hockey team has one. It is a social setting, it is a way to keep in touch with people.”

According to the tournament brochure, if one does not wish to golf, they may buy dinner for $50. Holes on the course may be sponsored for $100.

The Falcon Club established the event 31 years ago as a way for friends and alumni of UW-River Falls to create a tax-deductible contribution to Falcon Athletics. The booster club serves intercollegiate athletics by providing funding for special projects, events and the enhancement of UWRF athletics not available through traditional funding sources.

Page said that in recent years participation in the tournament has decreased.

“Well, it isn’t pocket change (to participate),” Page said. “The numbers are down a bit. Back when my dad was running it, it was not uncommon to see 144 golfers and have two foursomes on 18 holes. He was kind of a Pied Piper and he was in contact with people all over the state.”

Page said the event has the possibility of dwindling to its demise if the numbers continue to fall, but he said he wants to see the event continue to be held each year.

Some of the things the Falcon Club assists in are VIP parking for home football games, Falcon canopies at home events, post-game socials following selected home events, equipment for teams and coaches, Karges Center championship banners and other Falcon pride activities.

The Don Page Memorial Tournament will begin at 11:30 a.m. June 20 at the River Falls Golf Club, 2120 E. Division St., River Falls. The dinner is set to start at approximately 5:30 p.m.