Updated: October 4, 2013 at 7:48 am
A recent golf tournament raised an unprecedented amount of money for a Colorado Springs military charity - more than three times its annual operating budget.
Northwestern Mutual of Colorado Springs' fourth annual Rocky Mountain Scramble, held July 12 at The Broadmoor Golf Club, raised $63,000 for Citizen Soldier Connection, a local nonprofit that provides support to Fort Carson soldiers and their families.
This year's take was more than that raised at the past three years' tournaments combined, said Cherish Schaffer, executive director of Citizen Soldier Connection.
"It's an enormous amount of money," Schaffer said. "We didn't expect that. We expected it to be closer to what it was last year: $45,000."
Because the nonprofit's operating budget is only about $20,000 a year, the windfall has opened doors for the charity to launch new programs, Schaffer said.
The charity, which primarily connects soldiers with local families that "adopt" them, recently launched a program that pays for families of fallen soldiers to attend memorial ceremonies.
Additional programs are in the works, said Schaffer, and information on those programs will be available at a later date.
The charity is open to partnering with other local military charities with the same goal - connecting Fort Carson soldiers with the Colorado Springs community, Schaffer said.