Wal-Mart makes $3,000 donation to Senesi golf benefit

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   A popular Elizabethton golf tournament benefiting local youth has received a major financial donation from a local retailer.
   The Elizabethton Wal-Mart donated $3,000 towards the annual Dino Senesi Golf Classic. The tournament will be held June 16 at the Elizabethton Golf Course.
   Now in its eighth year, the popular benefit tournament draws dozens of players from across the Tri-Cities. 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 field is already more than half full and we still have sponsorships open," said Johnny Mills, who has been involved with the tournament's organization for the past five years.
   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 for 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.
   "Of the 144 slots open, I think we are probably two-thirds of the way there," said Mills. "And it is not going to rain us out."
   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 polo golf shirt and a baseball hat as part of their participation. Outback Steakhouse will be providing lunch for tournament golfers this year.
   Golfers will also have a chance to win $10,000 and a new car if they succeed in making a hole in one on two designated par-three holes.
   The event also includes a silent auction where participants can bid on items including University of Tennessee sports memorabilia from the Big Orange football team as well as the men's and women's basketball teams.
   To participate, entrants may contact the Elizabethton Golf Course at 543-2946 or pick up entry forms at Dino's Restaurant in downtown Elizabethton.