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Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Great Party, A Wonderful Success

A Great Party, A Wonderful Success

The 2016 Southern Oregon Classic

Story by Lynn Leissler

Photography by Jerry Clarkson


The party’s over, and what a party it was. 

The inaugural SkyOak Financial Southern Oregon Classic at Centennial Golf Club in Medford was deemed a success by all. Those who put in untold hours to organize and make it happen looked tired by Saturday evening––the happy, satisfied kind of tired that comes with a job well done. The non-profit event brought in over $21,000 for local charities in the Rogue Valley. 

The primary recipient was CASA of Jackson County, with additional donations to Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice, the Asante Foundation, and the Crater High School football team. (Football players kept the grounds tidy, the tables cleared, and, at the end, did the heavy-lifting cleanup.)

On Friday, over 40 teams participated in a golf tournament—the course full of golfers, beverage carts, and hole-sponsor displays. And, of course, the usual whoops and groans that accompany any golf game.  

The weather even cooperated, with temperatures lower than might be expected in mid-July. At The Feast on Saturday, some folks enjoyed an open-air atmosphere, while others sought tables under cover. The women had taken the opportunity to dress up, and as always at such gatherings, it was like a fashion show. As the sun set on Saturday evening, many pulled on sweaters or wraps.

Folks brought their appetites to the Feast––a feast in the true sense of the word. Watching much of the food prepared and plated gave one the impression of viewing twelve live cooking shows at the same time. Entrées ran the spectrum of simpler fare to more exotic gourmet offerings, yet all were delicious. Small plates were filled with large bites and desserts. No one had to be asked twice to enjoy the delectable sweets. Nearby bistro tables enabled guests to eat, then go back for seconds, or at someone’s urging—“Did you try…?”—to sample another amazing food treat.  

Throughout the evening, people popped into the Silent Auction tent to see what they might wish to buy and to check on the status of their bids. The attractively displayed items included lodging, winery packages, outdoor recreation, catered dinners, restaurant offerings, clothing accessories, salon services, spa packages, artwork, sporting events and memorabilia, weekend trips, and big-ticket vacation packages. That’s only a small sampling of the large generosity.

Precious Byrd, an amazing dance band from Bend, provided the evening’s entertainment. Their music style allowed something for everyone, a blend in pace and songs. Young kids, young adults, and grandparents crowded the dance floor, moving with energy and sporting smiles. The band will return next year by popular demand.

A huge thanks goes to the sponsors. Primary sponsors were SkyOak Financial as title sponsor, Southern Oregon Magazine as founder and operator of the event, and Centennial Golf Club as the gracious host facility. Presenting Sponsors included Medford BMW, Propel Insurance, Caldera Brewing Company, Rockwell Group John L. Scott Real Estate, Southern Oregon Orthopedics, Seven Feathers Casino Resort, and Sysco. Neuman Hotel Group was the lodging partner, and media partners included KOBI NBC 5, The Valley 106.3, KMED AM 1440 News Talk, LVSYS, and Ram Offset. Thanks go to the golf tournament hole sponsors Asante, Million Air, Pacific Power, Southern Oregon Cardiology, Dutch Bros., and Valley Immediate Care. Other important sponsors included Travel Medford, Triple A RV Center, and Rogue Valley Manor.

Thanks are also in order for the chefs who donated expertise and their Saturday night, for the wineries who poured their best and, in some instances, uncorked a new vintage, for the Caldera beer truck that kept pulling the tap, and for the Dogwood Distilling cocktail corner, where there was always a line. Thanks to individuals and businesses who donated items for the silent auction, and still more thanks to the team of volunteers who made the event possible, those who tended to the myriad details any large event entails. Of course, also thank you to all who came to the event. Without you and your generosity, it would not have been successful.

“It was an amazing first year, truly off the charts great, and we have so many people to thank for it. You just never know how a first year event will go, but our sponsors and the community really stepped up and showed us nothing but support,” says Founder and Event Director Ryan Chackel.

Stay tuned: inaugural event means there will be more in 2017. More golf, more food, more beverages, more fun, more music, and more opportunity to help local charities who reach out with caring and assistance.

It’s not too early to save the date. The 2017 SkyOak Financial Southern Oregon Classic will return to Centennial Golf Club on July 14 and 15, 2017. To learn more about sponsoring or attending, please visit: www.SouthernOregonClassic.com.



Participating Restaurants/Chefs

Alchemy Restaurant and Bar at Winchester Inn

Belle Fiore



Centennial Grille

Elements Tapas Bar


K-Bar Steak House at Seven Feathers

Larks Hone Kitchen Cuisine

Onyx Restaurant at the Nunan Estate

Porters Train Station Restaurant & Bar

Roxy Anne Grille at Rogue Valley Manor


Participating Wineries

30 Brix Winery

Belle Fiore Winery

Del Rio Vineyards and Winery

Folin Cellars

Ledger David Cellars

Quady North

Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyard

RoxyAnn Winery

Schmidt Family Vineyards

Serra Vineyards

Valley View Winery

Weisinger Family Winery


Participating Brewery and Spirits

Caldera Brewing

Dogwood Distilling

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