WCC Foundation's golf tourney breaks record
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 23, 2009 1:46 PM
The slumping economy did not keep Wayne Community College Foundation from having a banner year, with its recent golf tournament raising a record-breaking $70,000 raised for student scholarships.
It was the most money raised in the event's history, and possibly in the state's community college system, said Jack Kannan, director of the Foundation.
The tournament exceeded expectations in other ways, he said, from having to turn away players when it reached capacity to an increase of donors and bidders in the pre-tournament auctions.
In its 17th year, the tournament to date has brought in $711,000. This year's proceeds topped the previous year's $55,000 by $15,000, with $20,000 coming from the silent and live auctions.
Tournament Chair Larry Boyce praised all who supported the event.
"The community's generosity is impressive," he said. "They stepped up to be sponsors, to contribute items, to bid, to volunteer and to play because they know this is a good cause."
The successful venture comes at a particularly critical time, organizers said. The economic downturn coincided with imposed tuition increases at community colleges throughout the state. More students than ever are seeking financial assistance.
"There couldn't be a time when we've needed it more," said Dr. Kay Albertson, WCC president.
The annual golf tournament already has a reputation for quality, Boyce said. Since its inception in 1993 when Wooten Oil Co. saw it as a way to raise local funds, it has grown to what is hoped will become a "premier event" in Wayne County, he said.
In addition to a full slate of participants, the number of community and college volunteers, as well as business patrons, has also grown. Higher level sponsorships also went up this year, Kannan said.
Jackson & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning came on board this year as tournament sponsors. David and Danny Jackson called it a good investment. The company hires graduates from WCC's heating, air conditioning and refrigeration technology program and sends employees to the college for continuing education.
"We see firsthand what the college does, not only for us but for the community," David Jackson said. "We're just giving back."
This year's event, held at Walnut Creek Country Club, also featured testimonial speeches by graduate Earnest Richard and Becky Dezern, currently a student.
"They told the college's story through their own experiences and that helped people understand where their contributions are going," Albertson said.
Boyce is already working on next year's event, planned for June 8 and 9. He said the fact that all money raised goes to help students "makes it an easy sell."