Boy Scout organizes golf tournament to fund WWII monument

Boy Scout turns to golf to help honor the Greatest Generation

By Jon Rizzi

Don’t let the baby face fool you. Colin Saber is as sharp as his surname suggests.

The 14-year-old freshman at Monument’s Palmer Ridge High School has already mapped out his future. As a Life Scout in the Boys Scouts of America, Pikes Peak Council, Troop 17, he will soon earn the rank of Eagle Scout. He’ll then join the Civil Air Patrol and get his pilot’s license (he’s already practiced takeoffs, landings and barrel-rolls with his grandfather and uncle, both airmen). Saber’s post-high-school flight plan calls for enrollment at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, five years of active military service and then a career as a commercial pilot.

14-year-old Boy Scout Colin Saber is organizing a golf tournament fundraiser for his Eagle Scout project of having a monument built to the P-51 Mustang aircraft, “The plane that saved the world.”

What’s more, Saber has a plan for every step — and the first one involves golf.

A former PGA Junior League player, Saber freely admits he’s far less concerned with making birdies and eagles on the golf course than he is with having golf help make an Eagle Scout out of him. That’s why he’s organizing the Earl Depner Memorial Golf Fundraiser, which will take place May 11th at Monument’s Kings Deer Golf Club. A spot in the four-person scramble costs $195 per player.

Kings Deer Golf Course. Photo courtesy of Kings Deer.

All profits from the tournament will go towards the funding of Saber’s ambitious Eagle Scout project: Honoring World War II veterans by installing a replica sculpture of a P-51 Mustang—“the plane that saved the world,” Saber proclaims—in front of Monument’s Town Hall.

Saber says he got the idea a little over two years ago, after seeing a television documentary on how the P-51 was a game-changer in the war. Then he read about the passing of 104-year-old Colonel Earl Depner, a Purple Heart recipient from Monument who flew 88 missions in that type of plane. He talked to Marty and George Depner, who regaled him with stories of their father’s heroism.

The enterprising teen met with renowned Cañon City-based “Warbird Sculptor” Robert Henderson, who directed him to the Loveland foundry that had cast his 12-foot bronze P-51 replica. He went to see the impressive sculpture and was blown away. “Mr. Henderson gave me a good price,” Saber says, adding that the artist died last September.

Saber successfully pitched the idea of installing it in front of Monument’s Town Hall to then-mayor Don Wilson, Town Manager Mike Foreman and Director of Parks Madeline VanDenHoek. Saber’s mom helped him set up a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to help attract donors. “I honestly thought the fundraising would be the easy part, and the installation would be the hard part,” Saber confesses. “It’s been the other way around.”

While inflation has made cash donations harder to come by,  local construction giant GE Johnson agreed to transport and install the sculpture for free, thus dropping a significant amount from the bottom line.  Saber has enlisted support from veterans’ groups, private individuals and the local Lions, Kiwanis and Knights of Columbus chapters. He’s still a bit short of his $55,000 goal.

Hence, the Earl Depner Memorial Golf Fundraiser. With less than a month to go, Saber reports that even though plenty of spots remain in the 120-player field, he is optimistic he’ll hit his number. “Through this project, I’ve made hundreds of connections,” he says with cheerful confidence.

Also, he says, “If you want to help, but aren’t able to play, we have the Sponsor a Scout Program where if you pay on the signup site, put ‘SPONSOR A SCOUT’ in comments, we will assign a scout to play for you.”

“The people who make this worthwhile are the people who were there before us,” he says, referring not only to Depner and other members of the Greatest Generation but also to the scout leaders and mentors he has had. “I have great respect for them, and we have to show our appreciation and then be there for the ones who follow us.”

If all goes according to plan, Saber will join in unveiling the sculpture and plaque in August. By then, he’ll be an Eagle Scout—and no doubt working on earning his next set of wings.

For details on the tournament and on donating to the project, visit


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Jon Rizzi is the founding editor of Colorado AvidGolfer.