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Golf tournament benefits firefighters Karina Hernandez | Sat, Oct 02 2010 12:00 PM

Firefighters put out a series of birdies to save par at Salt Creek Golf Course in September. The Chula Vista Firefighters Foundation hosted a charity golf tournament, the non-profit's main fundraiser of the year, according to Vanessa Giuliano, who works for the Chula Vista Fire Department and helped organize the event.

Approximately 100 players divided into foursomes to play the links-style course for the second annual event. Participants included firefighters from the fire department as well as friends and family of foundation members. The day's round featured scramble play, a format that uses the best score from each hole to calculate the group's overall score.

In addition to the proceeds from players' entrance fees, the foundation raised money with a "golf ball drop." The public purchased golf balls at five dollars each for the chance to win cash prizes. The foundation originally planned to drop the golf balls from a helicopter, but were unable to secure it for the event. Instead, they arranged for a fire engine to perform the task using its fire ladder above the driving range, where they dumped more than 500 golf balls from a height of 110 feet.

The department will use the proceeds from the event to fund the Chula Vista Fire Explorers program and the restoration of a historic fire engine.

There are approximately 50 former Explorers that work in fire departments or emergency medical services throughout San Diego County, Los Angeles and Denver, Colorado.

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