By Kenya Juarez, Social Media Intern
For the first time ever, I attended the Cambia Portland Classic, the longest running women’s golf tournament on the LPGA tour. As someone that prides themselves in loving sports, golf was one I avoided growing up. I didn’t know the difference between a birdie and a bogie, the proper spectator etiquette, or why people would choose to play the sport. But after four action-packed days at the Portland Classic, I can now say I am a golf fan.
As part of my internship with the social media team at Cambia, I was asked to attend the Portland Classic to help run social media accounts for the event. A big part of my job was to follow players, take pictures, encourage attendees to use our Snapchat filters and more. For four days, I had to immerse myself in a sport I had no previous knowledge of. I learned more about the terminology, how to be a respectful spectator, and as I heard frustration sighs and applause from the fans, I gained a new level of respect for golf and the talent it requires.
The Portland Classic provided both family-fun activities and opportunities to give back to the community. The Cambia Fan Pavilion included interactive games, polaroid picture opportunities and healthy snacks as attendees prepared to enter the scenic Columbia Edgewater course. Inside the Fan Pavilion, attendees could also pick up a pedometer and track their steps to later exchange it for a golf tee and place it in the charity’s bucket of their choice. At the end of the tournament, the charity with the most golf tees received a $10,000 donation from Cambia Health Solutions. This year’s winner was the Oregon Jr. Golf Association for the second year in a row.
With players arriving from all over the world, finding someone to cheer for was not an issue. There was Ai Miyazato playing her last U.S. LPGA event, Brooke Henderson defending her title and seeking a potential three-peat and Stacy Lewis vowing to donate her earnings to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston. On the final day of the Portland Classic, I was invested in the tournament and was eager to find out who would hoist the trophy.
After a close final round, the winner of the 46th Portland Classic was Stacy Lewis. A Houston native, Lewis donated her $195,000 earnings to Hurricane Harvey relief. In addition to her generous donation, she also received contributions from two of her sponsors, KPGM matching her donation and Marathon Oil donating $1 million. Together with the LPGA, Cambia announced that a portion of ticket sales from the event would be donated to Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston as well.
Watching this was truly an unforgettable experience. Lewis’s donation proved to me that sports have the power to change the world and inspire. I was honored to not only attend the Portland Classic, but to also find a way to share such a storybook ending on social media.