News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 4, 2014

Freeze through the trees

Disc golfers plow through Deming Park snow while raising funds for good cause, having fun

TERRE HAUTE — Twenty-one disc golf players braved freezing temperatures Saturday morning in Terre Haute to play the game they love, while supporting a cause.

Crossroads Disc Golf Club hosted its annual fundraiser, Freeze Through the Trees disc golf tournament, at Deming Park. The C-Tier charity event, sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association, is now in its fourth year.

It was the first event in the second Western Indiana Frozen Fundraiser Series, which will also visit Avon, Mooresville, Rockville and Lebanon in the coming weeks, before finishing up in Brazil in March.

At the course, the players — dressed in hats, boots, gloves, winter jackets and various layers of clothing — energetically threw flying discs at a target while standing on inches of snow accumulated from the recent winter storm.

The two-round, 18-hole tournament also included a lunch break.

Amateur disc golfers paid $20 to participate, and pros paid $30. Proceeds go to the 14th and Chestnut Community Center in Terre Haute.

Despite possible challenges posed by the snow and cold, the players showed up ready.

“This shows dedication,” Jason LaBella, tournament director and treasurer of the club, said of the turnout.

“It shows that these people care about our sport in this area and care about the causes we’re [supporting],” he added.

And the timing of the event is also important.

LaBella said that this time of the year is usually when foodbanks need to replenish supplies that may have been depleted because of the holidays.

“This is really when they need … big help from the community,” he said.

“This is our way to pitch in with that effort,” he added.

Organizers try to raise about $400 per event, LaBella said. They already raised $200 just from entry fees at Saturday’s event. Last year, club events raised about $3,000, LaBella said.

But participants also get something back.

“They get a little bit of exercise in the winter [and] a sense of giving back to the community,” LaBella said.

Some of the golfers traveled from surrounding cities —  Indianapolis, Columbus and Mooresville, among others — to participate.

Barry Armour, tournament director of the upcoming event in Mooresville, drove about an hour to play and show his support.

“I love playing disc golf. I’m very passionate about playing disc golf,” Armour, who said he has been playing “non-stop” for three years, told the Tribune-Star.

“I love competition. It’s challenging,” he said. “It’s good exercise.”

He said the sport was something everybody can play, and he has seen people of various ages play the game.

No matter the weather.

“Play in the rain, play in the snow, doesn’t matter,” Armour said, adding that another great thing about the sport is that people can play it all year round.

But ...

“I prefer to play in warmer weather,” he said and smiled.

And his challenge on Saturday?

“Finding your disc in the snow,” he said.

Another participant, first time disc golfer Corey Russell, said his challenge may be “throwing my disc in this cold weather.”

But he was excited about the sport.

“It’s just a new hobby, a new activity for me. ... It helps me relax in a lot of ways,” said the former Chicago resident, who recently moved to Terre Haute.

And for a good cause.

“It brings funds to the community,” Russell said.

Tribune-Star Reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or dianne.powell@tribstar.com.

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