News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Mike Long golf benefit tourney set for Sept. 16

You get the sense that this year’s youth benefit golf tournament is going to be the best ever. Yes, long-time community leader and tournament co-founder Mike Long died in March and his absence still is being felt.

But the legion of family, friends and community supporters who get involved every year seem determined to carry on, and perhaps are even more determined than before.

The tournament, fittingly, has been renamed the Mike Long Youth Benefit Golf Tournament, and to fulfill its mission of providing scholarships for Santiam Canyon students, organizers are seeking players, volunteers, donors and sponsors for the Sept. 16 event at Mallard Creek Golf Course in Lebanon. 

To register to play or for more information about becoming a sponsor or a donor, go to or call 503-949-1252.

The tournament, started in 2001 by Long and his wife Jan with the goal of raising $500 for one scholarship, passed the $300,000 mark with last year’s event. Tournament proceeds paid for $18,500 in scholarships for 13 high school seniors and kicked in another $17,000 for seven local youth organizations.

How did all this happen? Well, the origin story that Mike often told goes something like this: “This all started when Jan looked at me one day and said, ‘We’ve got to do something for the kids in this town.’” With a grin he’d continue, “I knew that meant I had to do something and the only thing I knew to do was organize a golf tournament. So, we did.”

And others joined the parade.

“It always was such an honor to work with Mike and Jan on this event,” said long-time friend, golfer and tournament volunteer Sandy Lyness, a real estate agent in Mill City. 

“We miss Mike terribly and are so grateful for all of the work he did to make this tournament a success and provide for the young people of this community. We are all committed to continue working with Jan and the rest of the family to ensure his legacy lives on.”

Mark Tunstill, the general manager at Mallard Creek, knows he has a special event on his hands.

“As a golf professional, I have worked with hundreds of tournament organizers, committees, and many wonderful people,” Tunstill said. “But I’m telling you, there is something about the way Mike and Jan run their event that is different, and you have to experience it to really understand. 

“They have created a family culture that makes everyone feel welcome and important. Operationally, their organization and efforts provide an atmosphere that the players love.  Simply put, they are the kind of people you want to know.”

And the ripples continue to spread, said Todd Miller, superintendent of the Santiam Canyon School District.

“The Youth Benefit Golf Tournament plays a significant role in enriching and expanding the opportunities for youth in the Santiam Canyon,” Miller said. “Scholarship recipients have gone on to post-secondary success, due in part to the support of this community event.  These students know that they are surrounded by a community that cares for them.  

“Also, the tournament has raised money to enrich rural youth opportunities in the arts, theater, athletics, outdoors, robotics and other activities.  The enjoyment of this event is only rivaled by the outcomes it has for area youth.”

Previous Article

It’s almost time for school (gasp!)

Next Article

Oregon passes Consumer Privacy Act protecting private data

You might be interested in …

Learn the history of ‘Old Detroit’

Join the North Santiam Historical Society for “Finding Old Detroit: Recovering and Intrepreting the Histories of Communities Displaced by River Development Projects,” presented by Bob Reinhardt Reinhardt is an associate professor of history at Boise […]

Santiam Hearts to Arts gets $5K grant

Santiam Hearts to Arts has received a $5,000 grant that will help the group put on a choral concert in June. Pacific Power awarded the grant to the group. The money was part of $164,000 […]