The Gordon County Chamber of Commerce presented its 27th Annual Golf Tournament last week at Fields Ferry Golf Course, introducing a new tournament feature that generated an opportunity for one large cash prize and created excitement on the course.
Sponsored by Greater Community Bank, the first annual golf ball drop featured local pilot and businessman Ron Dobbs and volunteer assistants joining him as he flew over the 10th fairway and showered it with pre-purchased balls.
As it turned out, Ball #84 was the lucky number of the day, with that ball landing less than an inch from the hole and winning a $2,000 cash prize for C.J. Dodd, owner of Dodd’s Carpet. The drop took place just before tournament play began and a crowd of golfers watched from a distance to join the fun and see who emerged the winner. Dodd is a regular participant in the tournament, having played and sponsored it for years.
“Greater Community Bank is always ready to support the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce and its programs,” said Donna McEntyre, chief operating officer and city president. “We have participated in ball drops before and we were confident it would add a whole new layer of fun to the tournament, while increasing its revenue stream. The chamber took our idea and ran with it, pulling it together quickly and creating what we knew would be a winning event.”
The chamber sold numbered golf balls, limiting the sale to no more than 200, with each ball representing an entry in the ball drop. All the sold balls were dropped from a helicopter above the 10th fairway at Fields Ferry. The helicopter — owned and flown by Ron Dobbs — hovered above the fairway with volunteer Robert Oglesby dropping the balls and Greater Community Bank’s Director of Marketing Brook Mathis on board representing the sponsor.
The tournament also included a raffle of items donated by chamber members and local businesses. Those items included gift cards ranging from $25 to $150, a leaf blower, a smart TV, designer rugs, restaurant gift cards and free catered lunches, gift baskets and a Yeti cooler.
The tournament is organized by the Education and Workforce Development Committee, which is led by Chair Chris Tarpley, Shaw Industries; and Co Vice-Chairs Jim Dodd, Dodd Machine & Tool Inc. and Kimberly Fraker, Gordon County Schools. The committee’s mission is to connect education and industry to promote economic growth. Its program of work includes identification and recognition of Teachers of the Year from each school system, presentation of scholarships to local high school seniors, planning and presentation of the annual State of Industry Event, promotion of initiatives to convene business leaders and educators to promote economic growth, recognition of a Business Commitment to Education Partner of the Year, and creation of a Workforce Development Plan.
Proceeds accomplished from the fundraiser will be used to support chamber projects and fund scholarships to eligible graduating seniors from Calhoun High School, Georgia-Cumberland Academy, Gordon Central High School and Sonoraville High School.