Registration is under way for an event that has become a summer staple, the Garry Scearce Memorial Special Olympics Golf Tournament.
The event will get under way at Cross Creek Country Club on Sept. 18, and organizers say they are looking for as many participants and sponsors as they can get.
“We have several teams and sponsors signed up already, but we can definitely use more,” said Daniel White, Surry County Parks and Recreation director.
The morning round will tee off at 8 a.m., and the afternoon round will get under way at 1 p.m. A hot dog and hamburger buffet will be served at noon.
White said the fee for a four-member team this year has been reduced from $300 last year to $260. The cost for individual players is $65.
According to White, this year is the second time the tournament, which has been held for years, has been named in honor of long-time commissioner and Special Olympics supporter Scearce.
“He was such an avid supporter of the Special Olympics that we wanted to honor his memory by naming it after him,” he said.
The event will feature a silent auction and door prizes, and all participants will receive a golf bag full of goodies, White said.
All proceeds raised at the tournament will stay in Surry County and be used to support Special Olympics athletes.
“This is our largest fund raiser of the year, and last year we raised about $10,000,” White said. “We hope to do better this year.”
As of now, however, things aren’t looking as rosy as he would like.
“I’ll just go ahead and say it,” he said. “We’re a little behind where we were last year, and this is such a worthwhile event. It’s our number-one fundraiser for the year, and we probably put more effort into this event than any other. We’d like to do better than we did last year.”
White said organizers have secured partner sponsors like Riverside Building Supply, Burton Signworks Inc., and PVH Logistics, sponsorships that go a long way toward making the event a success.
“We’re also getting the support of the National Wild Turkey Federation this year,” White said.
For the first time, James River Equipment is sponsoring two hole-in-one prizes, a John Deer Gator and a compact tractor.
“We’re really excited about those prizes,” White said.
Once again, participants in the event will include teams featuring Special Olympics athletes, and White said last year those teams were a force to be reckoned with.
Elkin City Schools and Surry Central High School will be providing volunteers throughout the day.
While advanced registration is encouraged, White said teams can register the day of the event.
“They can just show up at the event. We’ll be able to get everyone in who wants to participate,” he said. “The more the merrier.”
For more information or to register, contact Eddie Wilmoth at 408-7448, Roger Stamper at 648-5072 or Lee Dancy at 362-3180.
Anyone wishing to donate to the event or participate as a sponsor should make checks payable and mail to Special Olympics Surry County, 118 Hamby Road, Suite 336, Dobson, N.C., 27017.
Keith Strange can be reached at 336-415-4698 or via Twitter @strangereporter.