Entry deadline for Senesi Golf Classic draws near   

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  The Dino Senesi Golf Classic offers golfers more than a day on the links; it provides a way to benefit children and teenagers served by the Elizabethton-Carter County Boys and Girls Club.
  "It is one of our largest fund-raisers of the year," says John Malone, director of the Boys and Girls Club.
  The ninth annual golf tournament tees off Monday at the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course. All proceeds from the tournament and public auction benefit the Boys and Girls Club. Funds raised by tournament participants helped renovate the former Tennessee Undergarment building that is now home of the club.
  The tournament's individual entry fee is $100 per person. Participation comes with a round of golf, a polo golf shirt, baseball hat, lunch provided by Outback Steakhouse, and dinner from the Sand Trap restaurant. Players also receive complimentary soft drinks and water as well as snacks during the tournament.
  The tournament also features an auction open to players and the general public. Hot-ticket items are a University of Tennessee football game helmet autographed by Jason Witten and Peyton Manning and a football signed by Tennessee Titans star Steve McNair. A round of golf for four at The Virginian Country Club in Bristol, Va., will also be up for auction.
  Malone, who became club director last year, says an average of 150 kids participate in activities each day. The club offers several in-house programs such as "Smart Moves," a drug awareness and prevention program, "Ultimate Journey," a science and nature program, and "Power Hour," a program providing homework assistance and tutoring. Club athletic activities include football, T-ball, basketball, girls' softball and baseball.
  The Boys & Girls Club opened its doors in 1947 in a small cinderblock building in the Blackbottom community. While starting with modest participation, tournament organizer Johnny Mills says the tournament has seen an impressive field of players fill up the 144 available spots in recent years.
  Organizers request participants sign up for the tournament by Friday. Participants are asked to arrive at the golf course by 10 a.m. to secure carts and tickets. Lunch will be provided at 11 a.m. and the tournament is slated to start between noon and 12:30 p.m.
  Participants can call the club office at 543-2946 or Mills Greenhouse at 543-6330 to sign up for the tournament.