PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Surry County Schools Educational Foundation held its second annual Academic Golf Classic Thursday at the Pilot Knob Park and topped last year’s amount raised with a total of $43,000.
A total of 19 teams participated in the morning flights and 24 in the evening half of the event. Last year the fundraiser earned the foundation more than $41,000. A total of 50 teams participated last year with 25 teams teeing off in the morning round. All proceeds from the tournament will go to the foundation.
“Beautiful course, wonderful community and a beautiful day,” commented participant Tom Balke when asked about his feelings on the tourney.
Local educator Neil Atkins and his partner Daniel Broughton were equally complementary of the golf classic.
“It’s been outstanding,” said Atkins. “We’ve had a lot of fun and this is for a great cause. I even think we have a shot at winning this thing.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” commented tournament coordinator Melissa White of the foundation. “It just ran so smoothly. We sincerely appreciate the level of support and concern that was shown through their participation. This funds the initiatives of programs that help us stage programs for our students above and beyond regular academic opportunities.”
She also recognized Pilot Knob Park for all its staff had done to help the event. White said the tourney boasted a variety of hole-in-one prizes such as a 2013 Nissan Sentra, a Cadillac, golf irons and a VISA gift card. There also were raffle prizes such as a $500 set of tires and good bags.
“This is a well done tournament,” said Horace Mann District Manager Keith Lyall. “I give it an A-plus. This really was a notch above some other tournaments we’ve played in. None of the details were left undone.” Lyall’s teammates Chris Peacock, Paul Kraklan and Donny Brown all agreed.
The winning team in the first round of the first flight was Ken Shelton, Ted Ashby, T.J. Payne and Brent Long. In second place in this flight was Jeff Jessup, Justin Gough, Johnny Solomon and Cameron Lineback.
The first place team in the first flight of the afternoon was Tom Ratledge, LaGrande Lowther, C.T. Sams and Charlie Welborn. In second was Jamey Martin, Marty Martin, Richard Brannon and Kelly Brannon.
J. Hooker and LaGrande Lowther were closest to the pin and Marcia Burge had the longest drive for the gals while David Hines, Randy Lyons, Tad Noonkester and David Caudle had the longest drive for the men.
White said that the foundation helps support all 19 schools in the Surry County district. The foundation was formed by local business persons who wished to help raise the academic level of education above and beyond the classroom.
“We want to promote excellence in academic leadership in students and staff,” added White. “We must not only attract but retain the best.” She said that the foundation previously contributed $12,000 to schools for field trips and helped all county elementary schools purchase defibrillators to keep staff and students safe. The expenditure of funds is coordinated by the school’s principals.
The foundation also seeks to provide educational supplies, professional learning opportunities for teachers, facilitating scholarships and grants to teachers with extraordinary classroom projects.
Burton Signworks was the banner and hole sponsorship signs sponsor for the tournament. Simmons Nissan was the hole-in-one sponsor. Event sponsors included Enviro-Tech, Surry Insurance, Surry Telephone Membership Corporation, TNT Carports Inc., Carolina West Wireless, Shelton Vineyards, Harvest Grill, Bello Vino Restaurant, Classic Business Systems, Inc. and Jolo Vineyards.
Closest to the pin sponsors for the foundation tournament include Lowe’s Hardware of Mount Airy and Parrish Tire Company. Surrey Bank and Trust was the shout-out contest sponsor.
White attributed much of the success of the foundation to the quality of its board.
“We have an excellent board,” commented White.
She said board members include Sheriff Graham Atkinson, Surry County Board of Education Chairman Earlie Coe, Mount Airy Certified Public Accountant Sam Gentry, Surry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson, Judge Spencer Key, Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation Executive Director Brent McKinney, Deidre Rogers of Rogers Realty and businessmen Ed Shelton and Gary York. Fred Johnson also serves as legal consultant for the board.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.