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Published May 3rd, 2017
Fore Our Schools celebrates 10th anniversary
This photo is from the first year of the tournament. The 2008 FOS Board is, from left, Mike Isola, Jim Schmidt, Patrick Artiaga, Dave Miller, Ted Yuen and Rick Schaffel. Photo provided

It has been 10 years since Patrick Artiaga, together with a group of other Moraga dads, created "Fore Our Schools," a father-driven golf tournament that would benefit the Moraga school district. The event was an immediate success and has grown over the years, for the main reason that it's fun. The 10th anniversary golf tournament will be held on Monday, May 22.
Moraga Superintendent of Schools Bruce Burns says that Fore has become a signature event, bringing the district community together. "It's a day on the greens to support the education of the students through long drives, short putts and for some of us, the need to have a few extra golf balls in our bags," he says with a smile.
Artiaga remembers that he had contacted five other fathers whom he knew from the days their children were in preschool. They saw how much effort the mothers were putting into fundraising and they wanted to do their part. The Moraga Country Club was an easy partner to convince, and the first Fore was born.
That first year the event raised $20,000 for the school district; Artiaga adds that it now averages more than $40,000. The event starts at 11 a.m. and includes lunch on the greens and a reception/buffet event at the clubhouse in the evening with a silent auction. The reception is opened to non-golfers, whether they are members of the club or not.
Burns adds that it is all about the experience. On the day of the event, school site administrators take a vacation day to join in on the tournament. "Several of us spend more time looking for golf balls than actually playing the game of golf," confesses Burns. He explains that the district's foursome has been nonetheless competitive, "with Rheem School principal Elaine Frank, whose smooth golf swing lines up easier chips and putts for those of us who save our golfing magic for this one and only time we play each year," he adds. The administrators are also known for reveling in the banter between holes with other parent and community foursomes, recognizing a day off from work will directly benefit district's students.
Artiaga believes that it is that fun yet competitive spirit that gets people coming back year after year. He adds that the event is supported by the community with about 20 volunteers, food donations from vendors such as Bonehead's Texas BBQ, or John Reyna and his food truck.
Frank, who is retiring this year, is the Fore Our Schools honorary chairperson this year. The limit of participants is 144, so the event does not take too long, and Artiaga adds that the average has been 30 teams of 4 players.
Artiaga says that of the six original founding members, five are still involved today; besides himself they are Mike Isola, Dave Miller, Rick Schaffel, and Jim Schmidt. Their children, who were in the second grade 10 years ago are now approaching graduation; Artiaga thinks that it is time to pass the baton to a younger generation of parents.
Registration fee is $250 per person, and information and
registration is available at www.foreourschools.org.

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