Honoring Lute Olson: The SaddleBrooke Ranch Connection

Hall of Fame Coach Lute Olson (left) and Jim Lamb (right)

Hall of Fame Coach Lute Olson (left) and Jim Lamb (right)

Barbara Barr

During the past few weeks, the life and legend of Lute Olson has been a major feature of the Tucson and Arizona landscape. You’ve probably read and heard many stories about this great man, who was inducted into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. But did you know there also was a SaddleBrooke Ranch Connection?

For many years, Lute Olson played a major role in The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke’s Fore For Kids Charity Golf Tournament. Members of The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke include SaddleBrooke Ranch, Oracle, Catalina, and surrounding communities. This fundraiser provides college scholarships and programs for children and youth in our area. Some years, Lute would be a celebrity golfer and play in a foursome. Other times, Lute actually auctioned himself off during the silent auction at the MountainView Ballroom. Then there were the times he did both.

Regardless of his many contributions to the Fore For Kids Charity Golf Tournament, what Lute really did was to make dreams come true. For the members of The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke, Lute’s involvement guaranteed a successful fundraiser. For area seniors in high school, Lute’s presence insured scholarship money to help fund a college education. For children and youth in our area, Lute’s involvement meant after school tutoring, technology equipment, a robotics program, therapy for special needs children, character education through golf lessons, special skills training, and so much more. Yes, Lute Olson’s work with The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke made so many dreams come true, for so many people.

To recognize Lute for his multiple contributions to The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke and to children and youth throughout our area, the club awarded Lute the highest honor in Rotary. In 2015, Lute Olson was presented with a Paul Harris Fellow Award by President Jim Lamb. Shortly after, the club honored Lute by making him an Honorary Member of The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke.

Rotary Clubs are about making a difference, both locally and globally. For the Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke, Lute was instrumental in helping our club make a difference for so many children and youth in our area. To honor Lute’s memory, the club continues Lute’s Honorary Membership posthumously. The Rotary Club of SaddleBrooke will be forever grateful to Lute for touching our lives, and the lives of the kids in our area. Through Lute Olson, our club was able to reach out, make a difference, and touch the lives of so many in our area.