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It has been my pleasure to be a part of the team that put on the La Vie en Rose disc golf tournaments for women in 2009 and 2010. I have evaluated the messages that I’ve received and closely considered the future of the event. I have concluded that the future of La Vie, if any, rests best with another volunteer. I do not intend to pursue promoting and/or running another such event anytime in the next several years. Within the next year I will be completing my studies at the University of Central Florida and moving onto the next career step. I am open to taking the best career opportunity that presents itself and that will likely be out of Florida. With that in mind, it would be unfair to me and all competitors if I were to attempt to prepare for and direct an event in 2012.

I do hope that a motivated volunteer or club will take the opportunity to perpetuate the tradition of La Vie as a women-only disc golf event. I would be happy to assist by conveying my experience and helping to brainstorm.

Recently, Shawn Sinclair messaged me that Juliana Korver and him had decided to re-prioritize their lives and do not intend to be involved with future incarnations of La Vie. I consider myself fortunate to know people like Juliana and Shawn. They are people of strong passion and integrity and I regularly draw inspiration from them when I hear of their travels, businesses, marathons, home renovation projects, etc. I applaud them for the years of their lives that they have dedicated to the sport of disc golf. They have been exceptional ambassadors for the sport serving in the roles of champion, host, official, board member, and teacher.

In 2008, I envisioned La Vie being a great fit for the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Juliana immediately came to mind as a wonderful potential host for the event. I had a conversation with Juliana and pitched her on the idea of serving in this host role. I may not have said it specifically, but I believe that I otherwise indicated that I intended on growing an annual event, for which I would be the tournament director. 

For the 2009 event that I TD’d, Juliana and Shawn performed an enormous amount of the preparatory work and work during the actual event week. I found running the event to be very personally satisfying watching the women play my course and enjoy themselves. I received many kind words of thanks, made some new friends and got the best two big sisters from Ft. Collins a guy could ever want. I also found it to be exhausting and disappointing on some levels as I was unable to produce everything as well as I had intended.

Later in 2009, as I was experiencing personal challenges that led to losing my family, I felt overwhelmed by the thought of attempting to run the event again. Juliana and Shawn were extremely considerate of my situation and agreed to up their commitment to the event and put on the tournament director hats as well. I committed to a list of specific tasks leading up to the event. As it turned out, I was only able to accomplish about half of what I had promised. I regret having let Juliana and Shawn down. They were superb in their roles of TD’s and I felt the event ran much more smoothly than the first year.

Finally, I would like to extend thanks to some other people that were instrumental in running these events: 
• James Cornett, Darrell Brooks, Ray, John, Heather, Pam, and Elaine on the SOSMP staff have all been kind and helpful in providing a fantastic venue for disc golf.

• Carol and Tyler Brant, Nicole Daviau, Deb Renner, and J.R. Ekens were extremely generous and provided lunch both days for both years of the event. 

• Michael and Cindy Barnett brought the Sun King Disc Sports mobile pro-shop each year and ran ancillary events. Sun King Discs will be carrying the torch forward with disc golf tournaments at the SOSMP when it hosts its first 2011 Tour del Sol event on March 5-6. The event will be a PDGA B-tier and utilize the permanent course as well as a second, temporary 18 hole course. 

• Shawn Harrigan and Tim Willis of the Fabulous Florida Tour were sources of wisdom and calm. 

• Jonathan Poole of Innova Discs was instrumental in helping to get the course in the ground. 

• Matt Peckham travelled in the Innova van for the first year and documented the event with hundreds of photographs.

• C. Leslie Charles provided her books and jewelry for prizes and brought her strong, kind energy both years.

• Mom and Old Man from Illinois drove down to renew their strong connection with the women of disc golf and assist with tournament operations.

• The Charlotte area disc golf club assisted 7 women with making the trip.

• Andrew Wells, Jeff Liddell, Duane Laudermilch, Scott Corrigan, Chris Fields, Jon Burpee, Shawn Harrigan, Matthew Monczka, “Roller” Bob Theis, Paulie Bagwell, Gregg Hosfeld, J.T. Rosenthal, Jack White and others that I may have overlooked contributed much sweat equity to the construction and maintenance of the Magnolia DGC.

• Many generous individuals, companies, and organizations made sponsorship donations. These include: Keen, Gateway Disc Sports, Discraft, Innova, The Fabulous Florida Tour, Sun King Disc Sports, Huk Lab, Fade, Lifetime Disc Sports, Daredevil Disc Golf, David Greenwell, Marty Hapner, Susan Macaluso, Rootstand, Liplock, Nathan Bell, Large Mammal, The Outer Space, The Little Wing Disc Golf club, DGA, C. Leslie Charles, Phil “The Basket” Perkins, Sarah Brown, Disc Golf Shop and More, Lorelei Johnson, EA Medical, Disc Golf World, Lightning Golf Discs, 1000 Rated Disc Golf, Widye, Ulu Ventures, Jubon, Peyton Designs, the PDGA, Disc Diva, Hart Environmental, World Champion Disc Golf Design, the Phoenix Ladies open, Revolution Disc Golf, Sandy Sinclair, Billy Crump and The Clash, Tita Ugalde, and the United Flyers of Sonoma.

Wishing you all a great holiday season and 2011!

In Flight,
Mark “Denny” Ritner

Let us put men and women together to see which one is smarter,
Some say men but I say no! The women got the men like a puppet show.

It ain't me, it's the people who say,
The men are leading the women astray.
But I say that the women today
Are smarter than the men in every way.

That's right, the women are smarter,
That's right, the women are smarter,
That's right, the women are smarter,
The women are smarter that's right.

Little boy sit in the corner and cry,
Big man come and ask him why.
He said "I can't do what the big boys do,"
The man sat down and he cried too.

It ain't me, it's the people who say,
The men are leading the women astray,
But I say that the women today
Are smarter than the men in every way.

That's right, the women are smarter,
That's right, the women are smarter,
That's right, the women are smarter,
The women are smarter, that's right.

Ever since the world began,
The women been bending the ways of men,
But listen here boys 'cause I got a plan,
Give it up, don't try to understand.

It ain't me, it's the people who say,
The men are leading the women astray.
But I say that the women today
Are smarter than the men in every way.

That's right, the women are smarter,
That's right, the women are smarter,
That's right, the women are smarter,
The women are smarter, that's right.

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that's quite a statement

Denny,Thanks for your time/commitment to this tourney,also to all involved.

For what it's worth I went there with my mother two years ago. It rained so hard we could hardly see disc land, and watched a huge tree fall down right in the middle of a fairway. With all that going on we both had a blast, the glow putting contest was realy cool too. It was a very well ran event and the course was simply awesome. I hope once you get your new life started and get settled in you find yourself getting back into this great sport. Thanks for all you did that weekend, it was a blast.

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