ROCKINGHAM — The Poplar Hill 331 Masonic Lodge will host its 6th Annual Scholarship Golf Tournament beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 11 at Loch Haven Golf Course.
“We started the tournament six years ago to supplement our scholarship program,” said Richard Nicholson. “Before when we were doing scholarships, we were able to raise between $2,000 and $2,500 — but after we started our golf tournament, we were able to double that to $5,000 to $6,000. And our goal is to raise $10,000.”
Nicholson said the lodge is seeking sponsors and players for 20 four-person teams for the split-team captain’s choice tournament.
“We try to make sure or golfers leave with something for their day of donating,” he added. “We have trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place, and we give out a trophy for last place, for bringing up the rear. And we give out trophies for individual accomplishments during the tournament.”
Nicholson said the owner of Loch Haven is supportive in letting the lodge use the golf course.
“She could make a whole lot more money that day than what she gets from us,” he explained. “We play rain or shine. We played one year in the rain. Last year was beautiful, we had a good crowd. We feed the golfers while they’re playing, and then after the tournament we give them all a meal. We usually have barbecue, hot dogs and hamburgers. For some reason, they like the barbecue.”
“They do come out to have fun,” said Curtis Ingram. “But at the end of the day it’s all about the scholarships. Our goal is to raise money to help a child in school.”
Nicholson said the tournament gets sponsorships from local businesses and politicians, adding that most students who already have scholarships from other sources often need additional support to cover costs in excess of those amounts.
“A little more money can make the difference,” Nicholson said. “This gets them over the top. And some students who didn’t have anything toward their tuition, this makes a very big difference.”
He said the focus is helping children to succeed.
“We wish we could help everybody,” Nicholson continued. “The saddest thing is when we have to turn a kid down because we don’ have enough funds.”
Registrations will be accepted on the day of the tournament at 8 a.m. with a tee-off at 9 a.m.
For more information, call Nicholson at 910-331-1874 or Ingram at 910-206-1240.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673.