Foundation hosts record-breaking scholarship golf tournament

Jan 06, 2014 by

It was the 26th anniversary of Tyler Junior College Foundation’s annual scholarship golf tournament, and TJC students got the gifts. The event was held Sept. 5 at Hollytree Country Club. Thanks to record-breaking community support of this year’s event, dozens of scholarships will change the lives and careers of dozens of TJC students.

Azalea Orthopedics generously served as the title sponsor for the 2013 tournament.

“We get a lot of requests for sponsorships, of course, and we’ve chosen TJC because we believe in it,” said Leslie Fossey, Azalea marketing director. “We’re passionate about patient care and very serious about sports medicine. One of our doctors (Dr. Kim Foreman) is the medical director for TJC sports teams and travels with them. We also have TJC students in our offices, where they do rounds with our radiology group. The patients love it, and we know we’re part of preparing students to enter the medical field with the best training possible. TJC does an excellent job in that arena.”

Delek Refining Ltd. and HGR/Turner Joint Venture served as Corporate Scholar Sponsors. Each contributed $5,000 in direct scholarships, and two recipients were selected from the pool of outstanding students receiving tournament scholarships. Hayden Gable, a music major from Van, and Markita Nickelberry, a surgical tech major from Tyler, were surprised at the luncheon, when they were recognized as the 2013 Corporate Scholars.

Darin Newhouse, a shareholder with Henry & Peters in Tyler, chaired this year’s tournament and the community advisory committee.

The 2013 tournament raised almost $74,000 in sponsorships, the highest in the event’s 26-year history.

The advisory committee reflects the growth of Tyler Junior College, with representatives from Jacksonville and Lindale, where TJC now has sites. The committee included chair Darin Newhouse, Henry & Peters PC; immediate past chair Loren Bennett, Eiche Mapes and Company Inc.; Clark Hampe, Jr., Hampe Law Firm PLLC; Claude Henry, Texas Bank and Trust; Paul N. Latta, DDS; Jason Layne, PA; Jay Misenheimer, community volunteer; Chris Phillips, Wright Phillips & Company; Scott Sawyer, Eiche Mapes and Company Inc.; Kevin Shively, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas; Dick Stone, Stone Financial Services; Eleanor Stringer, community volunteer; and Stan Surratt, superintendent, Lindale ISD.

The Louis & Peaches Owen Family Foundation sponsored the luncheon for the fourth consecutive year and increased their gift to help provide scholarships. A record 250 people attended the luncheon.

In a change from recent years, the committee wanted the luncheon program to feature the impact of scholarships on TJC students. Three scholarship recipients spoke about the difference scholarships have made in their lives.

Kristy Howell received an Associate of Arts degree in general studies at TJC in May 2009. She was then accepted to TJC’s highly competitive dental hygiene program. She had been working full time for a local dental office, but could not work and study at the same time.

“Losing that income was not so easy on my family,” Howell said. She lives in Tyler with her husband Richard and daughters Breanna and Abby. “We all had to make cutbacks on activities and extra expenses so we could ‘put Mom through school.’ Getting this scholarship allowed me to breathe a little easier because it was that much less that I would have to pay toward school.”

Howell graduated in May 2011 with an Associate of Applied Science degree and is employed as a dental hygienist with Bethesda Health Clinic.

“Receiving this scholarship made me feel that someone I didn’t even know was holding me accountable,” she said.

“I had to do my best. Someone else believed in me.”

Rocky Coss graduated from TJC in December 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in heating, air conditioning and refrigeration.

He also completed two Certificates of Proficiency. His education changed his career trajectory. He was previously employed with Sears for seven years; and after completing his education at TJC, he was promoted from technician to trainer and oversaw 278 technicians. Recently, Coss started his own business, At Your Service.

Coss shared at the luncheon how TJC instructors embraced him and wanted to make sure he was successful. Their compassion and dedication made it possible for him to realize his educational goals, and he still stays in touch with many of them.

Coss lives in Van with his wife, Jennifer, and daughters, Hannah, Hope and Jessamyn. The scholarship changed his life and changed their lives as well.

Hannah Fletcher of Chapel Hill participates in the Apache Belle program and shared how her TJC experience and her scholarship have positively affected her life and future.

During spring break of 2013, Hannah traveled with the Apache Belles as part of a goodwill trip to entertain U.S. troops stationed in Japan.

“The heartfelt testimonials from the previous recipients were extremely positive,” Newhouse said. “Rocky delivered a message that touched many of us at the core of what the true reason for the tournament is – to provide assistance to those who are bettering their own future through education at TJC.”

Azalea Orthopedic plans to sponsor the tournament again in 2014.

“Hearing the students talk about the scholarships and the difference it’s made in their lives is very rewarding for everyone,” Fossey said. “We took photos, showed them around, put them on our Facebook page. We’re proud of our association with TJC.”

For information on the 2014 tournament, please go to



Academics, Fall 2013, On Campus, Students

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