UNION — An upcoming event will help ensure Doug Trice’s impact lives on.
Buffalo Peak Golf Course, Union, will be the site for the first “Battle at the Peak,” a fundraising golf match to support the newly formed Doug Leon Trice Memorial Scholarship, which was established in honor of the local sports legend and Special Olympics coordinator who died in early May. The match, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been rescheduled for July 11 due to Union County's COVID-19 outbreak.
The match will feature Dana Londin, Buffalo Peak golf pro, and Eastern Oregon University men’s basketball coach Carlito Labarda Jr. against Kyle Dodds, producer of the Johnny Ballgame Show, and LHS graduate Joel McCraw.
“Doug touched a lot of people in the community,” Dodds said. “I’ve known his family since I moved here. I know his daughter, son, (and knew) him.”
The match, which Dodds said will be a scramble match play format for the first nine holes and an alternate shot match play format on the back nine, came together from a series of discussions between Dodds and Londin.
In fact, Londin said it started partly due to him being a “keyboard warrior” commenting during a segment on the Ballgame Show, which is aired on Facebook and YouTube. Londin was watching a segment where Labarda was being interviewed and commented about taking Labarda on his team in a 2-on-2 golf match against Dodds and Mallory, the show’s host.
“The next day I read Doug’s obit,” he said. “I didn’t know Doug. I met him a couple times briefly, but that is the man every man should strive to be.”
The Ballgame Show had recently changed the name of a segment focusing on area sports standouts to the “Doug Trice Memorial Local Legends” for Trice, who died May 6.
Londin contacted Dodds with the idea of honoring Trice with a match-play tournament, and Dodds was fully on board.
“It was on my heart and it needed to happen,” he said of honoring Trice. “Basically (Londin) turned the light on and I kind of ran with it. I contacted Doug’s daughter Kiley and made sure it was OK. We had the family’s blessing, so from there I just ran with it.”
All proceeds, Dodds said, will go to the scholarship fund, which will be $1,000 scholarships given to one male and one female student from La Grande High School who “demonstrates academic and athletic achievement, excellence of character with an emphasis on volunteerism.” The first scholarships will be given out in 2021.
Dodds said in the short time since the golf match was announced, the effort has received the amount needed to fund the first year of the scholarship.
“We’re just right around two grand right now. We have this year’s scholarships covered,” he said. “We’re hoping to get donations out there.”
Londin said he hope the first couple of year’s worth of scholarships can be taken care of.
“Now it’s kind of grown to where we’re going to have hopefully a ton of people out at Buffalo Peak (watching),” he said.
The match itself will start at 10 a.m., but Londin said there likely will be a gathering earlier, around 9 a.m., for individuals to share stories about Trice. In addition to what is raised through donations and sponsorship, there a putting contest and other golf games to help bring in more funds.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect a change in the date the event is being held.