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Local charity brings annual disc golf tournament to Mount Pleasant


Despite many events falling victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sixth annual Wilddeer Open disc golf tournament is on for Oct. 18 in Deerfield Nature Park to benefit Sawyer’s Light and Save a Heart.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18 at Deerfield Nature Park. Participants must check in before 8:30 a.m. to confirm their pot in the tournament and lunch is provided.

Participants must register online before 8 p.m. on Oct. 17 and there is a limit of 100 entrants. Spectators will not be allowed on the course for the sake of COVID-19 precautions.

The tournament is sanctioned by the Professional Disc Golf Association (PGDA) and participants will be split into varying PGDA divisions upon registration. Each division has a specific entry fee, and players will be grouped within their divisions to avoid potential contact with multiple people. 

“There will be four people in each group that play,” said graduate student Austin Mayfield, who is helping to promote the event. “Usually participants will be matched up and re-grouped with people in their scoring realm, but this year everyone will play in the same group to prevent too much contact with others.”

Five dollars from every participant's entry fee will go to Sawyer’s Light among funds from other events such as an Ace Pool and a 50/50 drawing. There will also be a raffle for prizes to support the charity. 

Sawyer’s Light is a local charity that has paired with Save a Heart to help raise funds and resources for families who have children with congenital heart diseases. Sawyer’s Light was founded by a Mount Pleasant couple in 2013 after losing their son Sawyer to a condition called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome. 

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is one type of congenital heart defect. 

Since then, the family has been raising funds for families all over Michigan and is the inspiration behind the Wilddeer Open.

There is a GoFundMe page for the charity that is accepting donations during the timeframe of the event.