Anatomy of a Charity Golf Tournament
Carolyn and Roy Register have always been active in helping charity events, but they have a special love for the Boys & Girls Homes of North Carolina Golf Tournament.
“Carolyn called me about doing a benefit golf tournament for the Boys & Girls Homes in Lake Waccamaw,” recalls Ron Jones, who serves as the tournament chairman.
And, as they say, the rest is history.
It was almost nine years ago when Carolyn Register made that phone call. Since then there have been seven tournaments held on Pinehurst Resort’s renowned No. 8 Centennial Course. And the Boys & Girls Homes have received more than $180,000 from the event, which will celebrate its eighth playing March 5.
There was a very special reason Register made that memorable call. She and Roy had lost their 47-year-old son, Courtney, in 2001 and were searching for a suitable memorial. Roy, an avid golfer, suggested a golf tournament.
And that’s when Carolyn, who was serving on the Boys & Girls Homes board, called Ron Jones.
“Carolyn had gotten my name from the Boys & Girls Homes, where I had been connected through Optimists International,” Jones said. “The Optimists have a cottage for the kids there, and I have been strongly supporting and keeping up the cottage and all its services for temporarily displaced, neglected and abused children.”
Jones is retired from the North Carolina Department of Corrections, has been an Optimist member for 22 years, and is currently a member of the Sandhills Optimist Club.
“Tommy Albin, who was publishing The Golf Record then, let us use his office to meet and helped us get organized,” Carolyn Register said. “We also have a ladies’ luncheon that raises money, and we had almost 200 people there last year. We always have a great guest speaker and a special attraction, such as a fashion show.
“This event has a very special meaning for us, and I love being on the board. Seeing these children who come there after not having been taken care of is a wonderful experience. And it’s special after they leave the homes and come back to tell us how their lives were changed and what it meant to them.”
The homes, which consist of cottages built by various civic clubs from across the state, provide children with a home-like environment, a sound basic education and higher education opportunities and spiritual development.
Asked how much time he spends on meetings and organizational projects, Jones says, “A lot. We have 17 volunteer members who are from a variety of backgrounds, and we all work very hard for a year ahead of the tournament, planning, getting donated food, prizes, grants and golfers.
“I’m also on the trustee board of the BGHNC, and the homes were recently accredited by the Council on Accreditation, an international, independent not for-profit child-and-family-services and behavioral accreditation organization that has more widely validated the credibility of the homes.”
The work creates a bond among the committee members, according to Jones.
“Interacting with each other and all we go through to locate golfers, sponsors, venues, etc., bonds this group together with a common purpose,” he said. “We all have our own talent and contacts, and we use them to their fullest. We supplement the budget for the homes with our one tournament at about $30,000 annually.”
The civic clubs that provide and maintain the cottages don’t quit with helping raise funds, though.
“There’s a statewide Cleanup Day each year,” Jones said, “where Optimists and other civic organizations pour onto the campus and wash windows, paint, clean grounds, etc. We have a chance to work alongside the kids and talk with them. Their attitude and lifestyle changes are remarkable and gratifying.
“Listening to the private and public testimonies of the residents makes us feel the work of the tournament and donations of time and resources are worth it all.
“The current president of the homes, Gary Faircloth, is a former resident, and his story is extremely inspirational.”
The tournament, which uses the Pinehurst scramble format, will have a noon shotgun start. The entry fee is $200 per player or $750 per team and includes cart fees, prizes, range balls, snacks, coffee and Danish provided by Starbucks, a bag lunch from Golden Corral and dinner.
A hole-in-one on the eighth hole offers a prize of a two-year lease on a new Ford or Mazda automobile, and an ace on the 15th is worth $1,000 in cash, also provided by Bill Smith Ford-Mazda.
Golfers registering before Feb. 13 will be entered in an “early bird drawing” for free golf for a foursome at an area golf club.
For more information, call Jones at (910) 295-1819 or (910) 638-9965, or register at (910) 295-2352.
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