By Bill Choy

Triplicate Sports Editor

Participants are coming out in force to take part in the Elk Valley Rancheria fourth Annual Golf Invitational on Saturday.

So far, the tournament, to be held at the Del Norte Golf Course, has 17 out of 20 teams already filled, said Ray Martell, interim manager of the golf course.

Funds from the tournament will go to help the sports programs at Del Norte High School.

Martell believes the remaining positions will be filled before the event starts. The group has the goal of raising $25,000 to support the Del Norte High School Athletic Department.

Last year, the event raised $17,500 for the sports programs, with a goal of about $25,000 marked for this year. Martell said it appears that goal is quite attainable.

With budget cuts the last several years, it has been harder for schools in the state and nation to get enough funding for extracurricular activities like sports. The event helps lessen this deficit so andquot;kids won't lose out,andquot; Martell said.

It's nice to know so many people want to do what they can to help provide sports activities to local high school students, he said.

Donations have not just come locally, but from around the state and country.

andquot;It's far-reaching,andquot; Martell said. andquot;People understand the importance of this. It's not a Del Norte problem. It's everywhere. We need to give them the opportunity to have these outlets to express themselves.andquot;

Another fundraising aspect is a bottle drive, said Terri Camarena of the Elk Valley Rancheria. Throughout town, donation bottles are being put up at a number of local businesses. She said that andquot;this is another way to support local sports.andquot;

Local businesses participating include: Crescent Ace Hardware; Tri Counties Bank; Coast Central Credit Union; Payless Shoes; Coast to Coast Tru Value ; Crescent City Rite-Aid; Spotlight Video in Crescent City; Chetco Federal Credit Union-Crescent City Branch; 101 Laundry and Dry Cleaning; Bank of America; Continental Bakery; Hiouchi RV Park; Del Norte Golf Course;Last Chance Liquor; Tsunami Lanes, Elk Valley Casino; Torero's Restaurant; Grocery Outlet; Glenn's Bakery; Shop Smart and Cazadora's Restaurant

Registration for the golf tournament begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, with the tee off at 9 a.m. The cost for the event is $150 for an individual, or $500 for a team of four. This price includes 18 holes of golf, cart, continental breakfast, lunch and a BBQ dinner, and a gift bag for each player. The Rancheria also has sponsorship opportunities ranging from $25 to an unlimited donation. For more information, callthe Del Norte Golf Course at 458-3214, or Terri Camarena at 464-4680, or at

Payment is required prior to Aug. 18.