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Thousands expected for API golf tourney

Hundreds of old friends and new faces will gather in Dickinson today through Sunday during the American Petroleum Institute's 29th annual golf tournament.

Steve Halvorson, event organizer, said 750 pounds of catfish will be fried to kick off the event at the Dickinson Recreation Center at 5 tonight. The fish are donated by API members and Halvorson said they are shipped in from Louisiana. The fish fry is free and open to the public, he added. They expect 2,000 attendees.

Only members of API can participate in the tournament, but Halvorson said anyone can watch.

About $100,000 was raised last year and Halvorson hopes to raise more than $130,000 this year.

"The money goes toward scholarships and other local charities throughout the year," Halvorson said.

He said the tournament will cost about $100,000, and the rest of the money raised will be given away.

He said $10,000 of money raised last year was given as scholarships, but this year he expects to donate more than $20,000.

The money is raised by donations made by those involved in the tournament.

"I feel this is one way that we work together with the community and contribute to the scholarships and local charities," Halvorson said.

The tournament is at the Heart River Golf Course starting with practice rounds at 8 this morning.

"It's enjoyable and you meet a lot of different people," said Gene Dowhaniuk, who will participate.

Dowhaniuk said he has been participating for years and meets someone new every year.

"We try to put on a good show," Dowhaniuk said. "Everybody enjoys it and that's why they keep coming back."

Two rounds will be held per day on Saturday and Sunday with one beginning at 7 a.m. and the other at 12:30 p.m.

"Golfers will be able to relax Saturday evening at the Dickinson Rec Center with a banquet -- and dance to music by K-Hook," Halvorson said.

Several prizes will also be given away. Awards will be presented Saturday evening.

People from all over the nation come, Halvorson said.