2010 golf tournament scores big for scholarships

Mar 23, 2011 by

For some, the game of golf is one of skill and frequent frustration. Put that game in the hands of the Tyler Junior College Foundation, and it becomes an avenue of hope and success. The TJC Foundation organized its 23rd annual golf tournament, held Sept. 9 at Eagle’s Bluff Country Club.

The HGR Scholarship Golf Tournament benefitting the TJC Foundation was the most successful event to date, with 155 golfers participating, raising a record $41,000 for scholarships. As a result, 41 students will each receive a $1,000 scholarship for the 2011-12 year.

This marked the first year the tournament benefitted from a title sponsor. HGR General Contractors provided financial support and sponsored individual teams to make the tournament a success.

McCoy (left) meets TJC President Dr. Mike Metke.

“All of Smith County benefits greatly from the efforts of Tyler Junior College to prepare its students for success in the economic community,” said HGR partner Randy Reynolds. “A well-educated base will benefit us both economically and socially. HGR is proud to work as a partner with TJC to provide the best opportunities possible for our students.”

HGR has been a good community partner with the college, and very involved in work on TJC’s main campus addressing maintenance and infrastructure needs.

The event included pre-tournament pictures with special guest Brad McCoy, athletic director of Flippen Sports and a successful former high school football coach.

Athletic talent runs through the McCoy family, including his sons, Colt, a University of Texas football legend who now plays for the Cleveland Browns, and Case, who now plays for UT.

At a luncheon sponsored by the Louis & Peaches Owen Family Foundation, McCoy spoke about his experiences in coaching champions and the importance of setting high goals. He is passionate about the role education plays in making those goals a reality.

The luncheon is a special time each year because the scholarship recipients, who all help with the tournament, are introduced individually. “What a great way to put faces with our cause!” said Paul Latta, 2010 and 2011 tournament chair.

“Countless thousands of East Texans – including me – can thank TJC for contributing to the success they have enjoyed in their lives. Graduates play a vital role in numerous career fields in our community. The TJC Foundation golf tournament is an avenue whereby sponsors can contribute to the continuing mission of TJC to provide affordable higher education to the people of East Texas.”

Latta worked with a community advisory committee to make the tournament a success. Other members included Loren Bennett (Eiche, Mapes and Company, Inc.), Claude Henry (Texas Bank and Trust), Eddie Howard (East Texas Medical Center), Darin Newhouse (Henry & Peters, PC), Freddie Sanchez (FirstChoice Cooperative), Scott Sawyer (Eiche, Mapes and Company, Inc.) and Eleanor Stringer (community volunteer).

McCoy congratulated the guests at the luncheon on the record $41,000 in scholarships raised from tournament proceeds, then challenged them to set their goals even higher, especially when seeing the impact the scholarships make on recipients.

Darrel Welch, Gary Penkilo, Darin Newhouse, George McMann, Christopher Phillips, Phillp Talley

As chair for the next tournament, Latta has taken that challenge to heart. “We have changed the venue for 2011 to make the tournament more convenient for Tylerites and to allow more space to expand the luncheon,” he said.
After the luncheon, the 2010 tournament got under way with a 6-man scramble, and the day ended with an awards reception sponsored by SSC Service Solutions.

The need for scholarships for Tyler Junior College students is ongoing. Particularly in these economically challenging times, many students are forced to make difficult choices regarding their higher education. Many TJC students are working two jobs as well as attending the College, and some are retraining after losing a job. TJC’s enrollment is the highest it’s ever been, with nearly 12,000 enrolled in the fall of 2010 and approximately 50 percent of those students requiring some form of financial assistance.

Art student Wendy Stone is one of the recipients of a tournament scholarship. “Without your kindness, I would be struggling to pay for tuition, and perhaps not attending college at all,” she said.

Nursing major Tayler Woodward agrees on the importance of her scholarship. “I am the third child out of four, but the first to attend college. You have helped me start on the path of success.”

Perhaps when the economy is most challenging, people have a renewed appreciation of the value of education and the importance of providing it for the upcoming generation. “I think we’ve proven that it’s possible to raise more scholarship money even in these difficult economic times,” Latta said. “Higher education is a worthy cause for fundraising, and TJC graduates are in demand and benefit all of East Texas.”

Latta knows first-hand of what he speaks. “As a local dentist, I have a deep appreciation for the impact that TJC graduates have on our community. All three of my dental hygienists completed their training at TJC. Both of my dental assistants received their training and certification through the College; and my wife Kay and I are both TJC graduates.”

Reynolds is eager to see the scholarship recipients put their education to good use. “It is our hope the students who benefit from these scholarships will make a positive impact on our community,” he said. “The heart of the economic engine in Smith County lies within the medical and college industries. HGR is proud to play a small part in supporting TJC to help students reach their full potential.”

Students like Glenn Berryman, who is studying law enforcement, are equally enthusiastic. “I have always wanted to do something to help my community, and now you have helped me achieve that dream,” he said.

Scholarships not only ease the financial burden for deserving TJC students but also reward students who serve as goodwill ambassadors for the community through one of the College’s many extracurricular programs. They also enable TJC to recruit the best and brightest from the area, enabling them to pursue their higher education right here in East Texas.

Tyler Junior College will be celebrating its 85th year of service to the community in 2011. The 2011 tournament is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8, at Hollytree Country Club in Tyler. Mike Doocy, veteran Fox4 sports anchor in Dallas, will be the special tournament guest. For more information on the 2011 tournament, call 903-510-2249 or visit www.tjc.edu.



Academics, Community, Features, Spring 2011

About the author

Elise Mullinix is Tyler Junior College's Editorial Manager. She can be reached at 903-510-2370 or at emul2@tjc.edu.