Organizers gearing up for Senesi Classic

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   Would-be Tiger Woods, take notice.
   Golfers eager to enjoy 18 holes on the links while benefiting the local community's youth can do both at a local golf tournament designed to benefit Carter County and Elizabethton's boys and girls.
   The 8th annual Dino Senesi Golf Classic will be held on Monday, June 16, hosted by the Elizabethton Golf Course.
   "Anyone who participates in this is making an investment in the future of your community as well as in our children," said Johnny Mills, who has been involved with the tournament's organization for the past five years.
   The popular local tournament typically draws dozens of players from across the Tri-Cities. Mills said the tournament registrants typically fill up the 144 player pool quickly.
   "The teams are flighted after the tournament so everyone has an equal chance at winning," said Mills.
   All proceeds from the tournament benefit the Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club. Funds raised by tournament participants helped renovate the former Tennessee Undergarment factory building that became the new home of the Boys and Girls Club in 2002.
   "The tournament has always been a marvelous and fun time for everyone and more importantly, they are raising valuable funds for the Boys and Girls Club," said Sam LaPorte, member of the Boys & Girls Club board of directors.
   Participants can enter the tournament through three sponsorship opportunities. The corporate sponsorship comes with a $1,000 entry fee. A corporate sponsor receives free play to two players and allows the sponsor to bring the organization's banner and display it on the golf course. A major level sponsor requires a $500 fee while a tee sponsorship comes at a $250 fee. Players can also enter the tournament with a cart sponsorship for $50. All sponsors have signs displaying their business or organization at one tee on the course during the event.
   As the nation's economy continues to stumble, funding nonprofit organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club becomes more of a challenge each year, Mills added.
   "Support of the community is needed at this time more than other times, so we are hoping the community will come out for this event," he said.
   Participants can bring members for their own team or be paired up with other participants on the day of the event. While receiving complimentary soft drinks and water as well as snacks during the tournament, golfers also pick up a primo golf shirt polo knit and a baseball hat as part of their participation. Outback Steakhouse will be providing lunch for tournament golfers this year, Mills said.
   The event also includes a silent auction where participants can bid on items including University of Tennessee sports memorabilia from the Vols football team as well as the men's and women's basketball teams.
   This year's celebrity competitors will be assistant head coach/defensive coordinator for the University of Tennessee Volunteers, Johnny Chavis, and former Vol quarterback Dewey Warren.
   To participate, entrants may contact the Elizabethton Golf Course at 543-2946 or pick up entry forms at Dino's Restaurant in downtown Elizabethton.