South West Montana Junior Golf Tour
We will miss you Lee!
On Friday, February 22nd, Lee Labreche passed away. At only 55 years old, we lost our friend far too early. He had so much life yet to live, so many things that he had planned to do and so many kids he wanted to help. What a loss for us all.
I've been working down here in Las Vegas and was unable to attend Lee's funeral. Never had a chance to say goodbye. That's really bothered me... the idea that I will never see Lee again, never listen to another of his stories, never hear him laugh... never get to say goodbye.
I've known Lee for longer than I can recall. He was a "larger than life" kind of guy. Anyone that knew him, knew that he was "one of a kind". I first met Lee years ago at the Butte Country Club, he was always in the "fun" group. If you knew Lee, then you knew that he always had a smile on his face. He really loved living. He really loved people. He especially loved kids. I remember when he first ran for County Coroner. I owned some property in Butte and he wanted to place his "Lee for Coroner" signs on a couple key corners, which he did, and he won. And continued to do so during re-election times. When our Tournament Director at the time, Jeff Briney, accepted the General Manager position at the Butte Country Club, Lee approached me asking what we were going to do about the Tour and who was going to run things. He shared his passion for junior golf and how he felt that the future of golf was with our junior players and how important it was to offer them opportunities to get to know the game, to play and to compete. He offered to step in as our SWMJGT Tournament Director and he did so for 3 straight seasons. Lee did this while also working full-time as our County Coroner AND as the Montana Tech Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach. That was amazing! Thank you Lee! Rest in Peace!
With Lee’s passing and the fact that I am currently working down in Las Vegas, I was unsure what to do about our 2019 Summer Tour with Golf Season fast approaching. There is a lot of work involved getting this Tour arranged, set up and operated each Summer. I contemplated the unthinkable…closing down the Tour for this year. That’s when I heard from Curtis Smith. Curtis let me know that he wanted to stay involved with the SWMJGT. As most of you know, Curtis is the Butte High Girls & Boys Assistant Golf Coach, assisted Lee for these past 3 seasons attending every single golf tournament and has been a friend and volunteer to the Butte Junior Golf Foundation for years. Curtis has accepted the position of our new SWMJGT Tournament Director.
I also received a call from last year’s Butte Junior Golf Foundation Scholarship Recipient, Isaiah Weldon who attended Butte High School, was the leader of the Bulldog golf team and finished high school with a 4.0 GPA. Isaiah offered to help our Tour in any way that we needed. He explained how he participated on the SWMJGT Tour every single year that he was eligible and how it played a major role in his growing up in Butte. Isaiah was passionately explaining how he felt that Southwest Montana needed this junior golf tour and that he wanted to become involved so that he could help other kids enjoy what he has over the years. Isaiah has accepted the position of our new SWMJGT Tour Administrator.
It is heartwarming to see these two step up to help our junior golf tour continue on. Please tell all your friends to sign up. I know it is a bit late this year, but there is still plenty of time to get everything together. Our first tournament will be in Butte on Monday, June 10that Highland View Golf Course with a 9:00am Shotgun Start. We have renamed this tournament, The Lee LaBreche Kick-Off Classic. Let’s have a great season with a great turnout…Lee would have wanted it that way!
See you in June!
Chairman / Founder
South West Montana Junior Golf Tour
Butte Junior Golf Foundation
(406) 498-5606 cell