CALAIS _ More than 135 golfers demonstrated not only their love of the sport, but also their commitment to higher education during the 12th annual Washington County Community College Golf Tournament over the weekend.
The tournament was held under sunny skies on Saturday, July 13, at the St. Croix Country Club.
“This event is the largest tournament we have for any tournament held here at the golf course,” St. Croix Country Club Pro Mike Ellis said.
And this year, the tournament raised nearly $16,000, surpassing last year’s amount by $3,000, in scholarship money for WCCC students. Of the $16,000, $900 was raised from golfers who purchased mulligans, something golfers love to buy because it gives them that critical one-time second shot on the greens.
In addition, the 50/50 draw brought in another $400. The college’s portion was donated to the Sherrard family of Calais. The winner of the 50/50 draw was Darrin Constant who also donated his share to the Sherrards as well.
Again this year, several individuals and businesses stepped forward to support the scholarship fund beginning with Bell’s IGA and H & R Block of Calais and Machias whose donations helped dress golfers in bright blue commemorative T-shirts.
H & R Block owner Marcia Carlow, who is known on the links as the Mighty Ms. M, said that she liked to donate to the scholarship fund because it was all about the students. Carlow is a long-time supporter of education having spent several years as a member of the Calais School Board. ”I want the local students to be able to attend college even if they can’t afford to,” she said. “It is for the benefit of the students.”
Carlow, who grew up in Calais before it had a community college, said she had to attend college out of state. “I paid twice as much for the education I received and if you do it locally it doesn’t cost the student quite as much,” she said.
The Mighty Ms. M’s teammates, who also had nicknames on the links. included Sizzling Gerry Cox of Baileyville and Rugged Rob Wyatt, of New York. Wyatt is the project manager for Downeast LNG in Robbinston. Wyatt and Downeast LNG also donated to the scholarship fund.
During the tournament on Saturday, there was an international component as golfers from Canada also took to the links.
And in recognition of the college’s growing partnership with students from New Brunswick, Mike Horne, of A.E. Horne and Sons Ltd. of St. Stephen made donations funding two scholarships for WCCC students from New Brunswick.
The college’s new president, Joe Cassidy, said he was pleased with the turnout and the demonstrated support of the scholarship fund. “I have played in the tournament every year that it has been going on as a member of the college community,” he said. Before assuming the presidency, Cassidy most recently had been a WCCC instructor. “It is a wonderful event because it is a great partnership with those who support us here in the community. Our sponsors are phenomenal and the country club is supportive of this effort. Although money is tight for everybody, local people and businesses continue to support our students because the money they donate goes directly to our students. That is the important thing to remember. Our sponsors and participants, in a very real way, are supporting the education of young men and women throughout this region and our county. It is something we can all be proud of,” he said.
And there are new donors this year that include: C & E Feeds in Milltown, Ben’s Fuzy Butz 4 Pets, Kendall’s Fine Jewelers and the Calais Rotary Club in memory of Dolph Lentz. There also are some new family scholarships, the Gladys Moholland Memorial Scholarship, the Lally-Mitchell Scholarship Fund. Ken and Jane Brooks Scholarship and the Farrell Family Scholarship, all of Calais.
Returning benefactors include: Dr. Brian Hoops, D.D.S. Scholarship of Baileyville and Andel Construction Service LLC. Among those who also have returned are: Tammi Smith Accounting, Sunrise County Economic Council, Calais Ace Hardware. There also is the Arlo Smith Family Scholarship, Bar Harbor Bank and Trust of Lubec, the Calais Advertiser, Inc., the Calais Motor Inn, Daylily Dyeworks of Perry, the Dead River Company, Paradis Shop ’n Save, Downeast Credit Union, Harold Howland Family Scholarship, Eastern Maine Electric Coop, EBS Building Supplies, Thomas DiCenzo Company Inc., PCT Communications, the Eastland Motel in Lubec, Eastport Health Care, Rayes Mustard, Downeast LNG/Rob Wyatt Scholarship, Quoddy Pilots USA and the Eastport Port Authority, all of Eastport.
Also returning are: Federal Marine Terminals, Inc. and the Quoddy Tides of Eastport, Riverside Electric, Mingo Construction, Inc., Roger’s Auto Sales, the St. Croix Regional Technical Center, Sunrise Eye Care, the International Motel, Wesserunsett Consulting LLC, WQDY FM, Yancy’s Restaurant, the Cassidy Family Book Scholarship, the Churchill Family Scholarship, Diane Barnes, the WCCC Student Senate all of Calais and the F. Marjorie Hedlund Scholarship.
And there was another sponsor, Ian Pratt of Pratt Chevrolet-Buck, who made the tournament a fun day for golfers who dream about that illusive hole-in-one. To up the excitement, the dealership provided a 2014 Chevrolet Impala to the winner of the hole-in-one. Unfortunately no one won the coveted prize, but it was not because golfers did not try. In fact a few golfers almost put a “dent in the prize” as their golf balls sliced precariously close to the shiny new Impala parked near the Number 1 hole.
In addition to the hole-in-one on the first hole, there also were other hole-in-one prizes including a Fairmount golf vacation, 4 pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses and a $500 golf clothing shopping spree, all donated by Pratt Chevrolet-Buick. Again, golfers came close, but none took home any of those prizes.
As a consolation, in addition to the T-shirt, each participant received a certificate and those who test drive a new car at Pratt’s after the tournament receive a free pair of Maui Jim Sunglasses valued at $200. Although no one got a hole-in-one, spirits were high during the tournament and hopes rang true as players knew it was all for a good cause.
Because in the end it is all about the students.
A popular part of the scholarship program allows donors to create their scholarship in their name or their business’ name. They can even create a scholarship in honor or in memory of a loved one. Donors choose the program of studies and create the criteria; $250 or more can make a difference in a student’s life.
In March, last year’s scholarships were presented to 45 WCCC students. Although an Annual Student Scholarship luncheon had been planned, Mother Nature did not cooperate and the luncheon had to be canceled. This year, in place of a banquet sponsors will receive commemorative t-shirts.
Although the tournament is over, anyone who would like to participate in the scholarship program can still do so by sending their donation to Tina Erskine at Washington Community College, One College Drive, Calais, ME 04619, or for more information about the scholarship program call Erskine at 454-1002.