Golfers take clubs to child abuse

Olalla Valley Golf Club will host the benefit tournament. (Courtesy photo)

TOLEDO — Golfers will take a swing at child abuse next week because a grieving father turned his heartache into action with a tournament to memorialize his slain son.

Golfers are signing up for the first-ever Caden’s Classic Benefit Golf Tournament, slated Saturday, June 22, at Olalla Valley Golf Course, where a half-dozen four-member teams have already entered the 9-hole scramble.

The tournament is named after Caden Berry, a 12-year-old Newport native strangled to death on Jan. 14, 2017, by a mother who was subsequently committed indefinitely to a state mental institution.

“He was the funniest kid, the class clown,” recalled Caden’s father, David Berry, a 40-year-old Toledo carpenter who never organized a golf tournament before but has managed to rally scores of sponsors and friends from South Beach Church to stage the event.

“Caden was always the joker, but super-kind with a heart of gold.”

The tournament is a fundraiser for CASA, the Court-Appointed Special Advocates who represent and protect the interests of children from broken and dangerous homes who are enmeshed in the legal system. Judges and child welfare specialists hail the work of CASA as vital and productive.

“When I learned about the work they do, I said, that’s where the money has to go,” commented Berry.

Besides the scramble, the tourney will feature a putting competition, long-drive contests and closest-to-the-pin winners. Prizes include $500 cash for the winning team, first to third trophies in four categories and a score of raffle prizes ranging from charter fishing trips to pizzas and high-end toothbrushes from a generous local dentist. JC Market of Toledo is providing the condiments and hot dogs for the barbecue.

The $50-per-person entry fee includes a golf cart, Tee-off is at 11:11 a.m. For more information, call 541-270-6607 or see Caden’s Classic on Facebook.

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