Foundation nets record proceeds from tournament
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 7, 2013 1:50 AM
The Wayne Community College Foundation Scholarship Invitational continues to break records, both its own and those of similar events around the state.
This year's goal for the annual event was $112,000, said Jack Kannan, Foundation executive director.
"We raised $133,000," he said of the fundraiser, which generates student scholarships. "We're just very pleased with our community support."
He called the latest revenues the "largest in the history of the community college system, the largest netting golf tournament in Wayne County and the state."
This year's proceeds bring the total for the 21-year event to more than $1 million.
The accompanying live and silent auctions and tournament held in June at Walnut Creek Country Club, combined with sponsorships and donations, resulted in the record-breaking take. Last year's tournament brought in $110,000.
Despite the economy, donors and sponsors have continued to step up, said Larry Boyce, tournament chairman. He said many even increased their giving level and new supporters signed on.
"We have some terrific sponsors hanging in there in tough times, including Jackson and Sons," he said. "People are giving for the cause, not the product (a game of golf or an auction item). People like a return on their investment."
Seventy-four businesses and individuals served as sponsors for this year's tournament, at six financial levels.
"We continuously hear business leaders in the community bring up the tournament, how it has grown, and what it is doing for students," said David Jackson, co-owner of Jackson and Sons.
Ultimately, Kannan said, it is the end goal that keeps everyone on board with the cause -- scholarships for students.
The tournament will fund more than 200 scholarships in the 2013-14 academic year. Last year, the Foundation assisted students with 363 scholarships. A non-profit organization, the Foundation also provides funding for innovative campus projects and employee recognition, and offers cultural programs for the community.
Officials at the college noted that not only is the golf tournament the primary source for scholarships for WCC students, but is also considered the premier tournament in the state's community college system. Kannan said it has been recognized by the state community college development officers' organization as a model to imitate.
Wooten Oil Co. founded the event in 1993 as a way to contribute to a cause that would use all of the money raised locally. The company continues to be involved in the tournament.
In the years since, it has met or exceeded its financial goals, which have incrementally gone up each year.
Boyce took over the reins as chairman nearly seven years ago and the event itself has evolved from a golf tournament to an invitational event.