Inspirational messages concerning “Gina’s Team” highlighted Cottonwood’s Lady Niners annual Christmas celebration December 18 held in the Saguaro Room. Member Charlene Clausen and guest Romelle Durand highlighted a brief program with details about Gina’s Team, the volunteer program chosen to be the benefactor of the annual Member-Guest Tournament March 19.
Gina’s Team consists of volunteers who devote endless hours assisting women prisoners re-entering society. Providing the simple basics of everyday life, i.e., toothbrushes, shampoo, etc., Gina’s Team members greet newly released inmates and assist them in restoring their lives which includes education, supplying basic hygiene needs, suitable clothing and transportation to everything from probation meetings to job interviews.
“Being released from prison is like being shot out of a cannon blindfolded and naked into a brick wall,” states a Gina’s Team brochure. It also describes several educational programs aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency and teaching leadership classes at Perryville, Arizona’s only women’s prison; 95 percent of graduates of the Leadership Class never return to prison, well below the national rate.
Member-Guest co-chairs Karen Kishpaugh and Leslie Swan expressed excitement for this year’s benefit project, noting it will be a first for Cottonwood’s Lady Niners.
December’s Action: Ole’Man Weather played as much golf in December as Cottonwood’s Lady Niners with only two play days seeing action. However, 38 members celebrated Christmas December 18 with a luncheon in the Saquaro Room followed by a brief business meeting conducted by President Marilyn Jasper. Several lucky members won gifts in drawings preceding the afternoon of links Step-Aside team action.
Judy Nicely, Joyce Pocras, and Sandy Tennant were members of the first place team, scoring 22.7; placing second was the team of Peggy Boyles, Karen Kishpaugh, Dixie McQuaid and Barb Schmoekel, 22.75; and in third place was the team of Betty Lu Buchanan, Millie Hague and Rachelle Wilson, 23. scoring 32.
On December 11 31 ladies competed with scores on Holes 2, 4, 7 and 9 (less half of handicap) determining the following winners:
Flight 1: Eden Carter 13.5; Joyce Pocras 15; and Sheila Axtman 16; Flight 2: Susan Lamb 13.5; Leslie Swan 14.5; and Sherri Bultler
15; Flight 3: Mary Ann Loran 15.5; Dixie McQuaid 16.5; with Pat Kivi and Betty Lansing tying for third with scores of 18 each.
“Education, not incarceration is the cheapest form of crime prevention” and the guiding principle of Gina’s Team, a volunteer program promoting education and self-sufficiency for incarcerated women at no cost to Arizona prisons. Gina’s Team, Scottsdale, is named for Gina Panetta who died in 2003 at age 26 of leukemia while incarcerated in an Arizona prison.