LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero began in 2012 in hopes of making a difference to high school students in need regarding substance abuse and addiction. The mission was to provide awareness, prevention, and intervention to students at the continuation high school and financial assistance for a licensed therapist for student access.
In order to fulfill that financing, the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation produced the LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero Golf Tournament to raise money. Each year, the event provides monetary assistance for the provision of professional therapy to high school students at Paloma Creek Continuation High School and the fifth annual tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13 at Chalk Mountain Golf Course.
Registration for the tournament is open to the public, and is a shotgun-start four-player scramble.
Entry to the tournament is $40 per player and includes the green fee, cart and lunch. Entry is limited to the first 30 teams.
Funds are raised through hole sponsorships, which are available from $100-500 per hole. The funds help support the prevention and intervention part of the LIGHTHOUSE mission, but the entire golf tournament is a means of providing for the awareness part of the mission.
Like the story of the kid walking down the beach throwing sea stars back into the ocean, and the naysayer explaining that there are so many sea stars that the kid will never make a difference to all of them. The kid picks up a sea star, throws it back into the ocean and says “I made a difference for that one.”
The Greyhound Foundation is working to provide real help for high school students struggling with addiction and mental health issues during important years of life. The golf tournament is an opportunity to learn more about the program.
Since 2012, LIGHTHOUSE has come a long way and is the main focus for the Greyhound Foundation. In just the past year, multiple programs have been established to fill needs for high school students, including peer mentoring, resources and an after-school program.
LIGHTHOUSE After School provides classes for kids who want to fill their afternoons with productive and educational
experiences.
“Everything is about good decision-making and problem solving,” AGF executive director Donn Clickard said. “The program will teach ceramics, how to build a computer or bicycle and gardening — filling leisure time with
productive activity.”
With respect to the LIGHTHOUSE mission, measuring the impact these classes will have on the lives of students is difficult, even for an experienced educator like Donn Clickard.
“How do you measure the funeral you didn’t go to?” Donn said. “How do you measure a kid who does not do drugs, or the impact Reality Tour has on them?”
The bottom line is whether or not the programs are making a difference in the lives they reach.
For more information on the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation or LIGHTHOUSE, go to atascaderogreyhoundfoundation.org, or lighthouseatascadero.org.

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