SONH Fundraisers and a Return to Large State-Level Competition
Concord, NH (August 23, 2022) – Special Olympics New Hampshire (SONH) has wrapped up three days of golf tournaments at Owl’s Nest Resort in Thornton, NH. The first event on August 16th was a benefit not only for SONH but for the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police and the NH Police, Fire and EMS Foundation. 136 golfers took to the links including SONH athlete and board member Eric Retelle. The event raised $38,000.00 for the three organizations.
Monday evening’s highlight was a Cornhole Tournament that took place at Waterville Valley with 15 teams competing.
Tuesday brought the Second Annual SO Cup Golf Tournament back to the Owl’s Nest. A total of 144 golfers turned out for a sunny day of golf to benefit SONH. In addition to the 36 foursomes, SONH athletes, Scott Justason, Gary Mayo, Martin Moran and KJ Scruggs worked the sixth hole for the athlete putting hole. They were assisted by SONH athlete-turned-coach Jesse Covill. The 2nd Annual SO Cup Golf Tournament was presented by Eversource and Michels Power and raised more than $130,000.00 for the athletes and programs of Special Olympics New Hampshire.
Wednesday marked the largest Special Olympics New Hampshire state-level competition event in more than two years bringing nearly 100 athletes and Unified Partners to the links. Eric Tinker of Associated Grocers of New England is the Chair of the SONH Board and is thrilled that competition is returning saying, “Special Olympics New Hampshire in-person events are back! It was an incredible day watching the athletes competing on the golf course. There were plenty of birdies, pars, and bogies, but the athletes were smiling the whole day while competing and receiving their medals. With more competition scheduled for this fall, I know more smiles and hard work are on the horizon.”
Complete results for the SONH State Golf Tournament can be found here.
Attendees of all four events were fed by retired Woodstock, NH Police Chief and SONH Super Volunteer Doug Moorhead and key volunteer for nearly 40 years.
The early 80’s saw Doug Moorhead volunteer for SONH for the very first time. He was a college student and he tended to volunteer for many things, and he considered this to be “just another volunteer opportunity in college.”
He continued his work with SONH once he started his career in law enforcement. “About 20 years ago I realized that there was a lot more to the competitions and fundraising events” he says. That’s when his association with SONH went far beyond presenting athletes with medals. He became an integral part of the set-up process for the Penguin Plunge. Every year on Superbowl Sunday weekend, SONH hosts the annual Penguin Plunge event and Moorhead is one of the original architects of the beach set up process since the events inception.
Seeing our events in action year by year, event by event, Doug realized that one of the larger expenses of many SONH events was feeding everyone involved. Over the years the food and beverage donations of both Associated Grocers of New England and Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast have been astronomical. But even so, to bring in the people and equipment necessary to put it all together comes at a cost.
“Probably my first big barbecue was in the back-country being able to cook when I worked for the Forest Service in college” he notes. His mass-culinary talents were honed over the year by volunteering to feed groups at many events for several groups other than SONH.
Feeding large groups of people at events became such a regular thing that he built his now-familiar mobile kitchen that has been seen at so many SONH events. His wife’s idea actually, she got him a covered trailer as a gift to replace his aging open utility trailer. This is a guy who built his own house so how tough could it be to build a kitchen in a trailer?
That’s exactly what he did, complete with two grills, a warming cabinet and a selection of chafing dishes. He’s cooked for groups up to about 500 out of this kitchen on wheels. This is what spectators and participants saw at the Owl’s Nest Resort over the span of the three golf tournaments.
At the start of Monday’s tournament to benefit the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, the NH Police, Fire and EMS Foundation and SONH, Moorhead and long-time friend and SONH athlete Gary Mayo, worked the trailer starting the day with 160 breakfast sandwiches. Over the course of three golf tournaments and one cornhole tournament at Waterville Valley, the dynamic dining duo served up burgers and hot dogs as well as mac and cheese, corn bread, salad, sausage, pulled pork and steak tips for over 480 people plus countless hours of shopping, food prep and cooking to make it happen.
The SO Cup Tournament on Tuesday also featured pulled pork and chicken smoked in the Associated Grocers portable smoker.
When the Penguin Plunge returns to Hampton Beach, Moorhead plans to return to assist with set-up at the beach. He’s not seen by many during the weekend Plunge events at the beach because the amount of food necessary to feed everyone involved exceeds what his mobile kitchen can do. For Plunge Weekend he works out of the kitchen at Hampton’s Winnicunnet High School and the food is transported to the Casino Ballroom by volunteers.
Moorhead still works in law enforcement as a Grafton County Sheriff’s Deputy and shows no signs of slowing down his volunteer cooking efforts for SONH and other non-profits. When it comes to the question of how many people he has cooked for at SONH events, “tens of thousands of meals” he says.
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Contact: Mark Ericson
Pictured above: Doug Moorhead and Gary Mayo at the 2022 State Golf Tournament