Golf tourney nets funds for San Miguel Mission restoration

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The San Miguel Church and Mission held its second benefit golf tournament on Saturday.

Billy Byler/For El Defensor Chieftain: Teams head off at the match start on Saturday during the second annual benefit golf tournament for San Miguel Church and Mission. Attendance was up from last year, and more funds were raised.

The tournament, held at New Mexico Tech Golf Course, raised more than $10,000 toward efforts to restore the cChurch and complete other projects in time for the El Corazon y La Esperanza de Socorro’s 400th anniversary celebration, to occur from September 2014 to September 2015. The organization also hopes to celebrate the dedication of the new La Sagrada Familia Church in Lemitar this summer.

The Security Abstract Title team, with Chris Avelar, Pere Avelar, Ricky Silva and Ricky Silva Jr., took first place; The Socorro General Hospital team took second; Leroy Baca, Richard Chick Griego, Al Porter and Randy Porter came in third; and the Econo Lodge team, with Daniel Pacheco, Charles Saavedra, Randy Torres, Jr. and Richard Torres placed fourth. The prizes included several autographed celebrity photos and other items, such as golf balls, as well as golf bags, gift certificates and other prizes.

Every participant received some sort of prize or gift. The tournament included breakfast and lunch, and drawings were held for autographed items.

“This was a very successful event,” Father Andrew J. Pavlak of San Miguel Church and Missions said of the tournament. “People are already talking about next year.”

Pavlak said the tournament’s success was due in large part to the hard work of the volunteers, including the golf tournament chairpersons, Randy Torres and Amy Torres.

“You just have to beat the doors down and get good sponsors and prizes,” Randy Torres said. “We are so grateful to our sponsors and supporters for making this a success. We look forward to making it even better next year.”

The church and mission has raised over $600,000 to date and paid out most of that for restoration work already completed on the mission. Pavlak indicated that an estimated $200,000 more is needed to complete their projects. Additional fundraisers will be held this summer and fall. The next fundraiser will be during the Fiestas of San Lorenzo in Polvadera, Aug. 9 and 10. There will be a ticketed lecture and gathering on Aug. 9h, with two presenters giving historical accounts of the area. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at the mission office or the gift shop. There will be a 5 p.m. Mass and reception to follow Aug. 10.

The first San Miguel golf tournament was held last July. Successive events are planned for the third week of July for the next two years, as the Church continues to work toward its goal.