Robinson Memorial melds golf, philanthropy

By Thomas Wilson
star staff
twilson@starhq.com

  Golfers representing a local industry captured the winner's trophy at the first annual Charles Robinson Memorial Golf Tournament held Wednesday afternoon at the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course (EMGC).
  The team of Bill Schaff, Eddie Harris, Mike Matheson, and Susan Oler representing Mapes Piano Strings combined to shoot a 15-under-72 to win first place in the Elizabethton Rotary Club annual golf fundraiser. Rotary members named the event earlier this year in honor of Charles Robinson, a long-time Rotarian and former publisher of the Elizabethton Star newspaper.
   Robinson died July 7 only hours after suffering a heart attack. He had been publisher of the Star since 1980 and was known as an exceptional golfer. The golf cart used by event participants and Robinson's close friends, Sid Davidson and Don Treadway, carried a placard reading "In memory of our golfing buddy".
  "We really couldn't think of a better way to honor a loyal Rotarian and an avid golfer like Charlie," said Mike Hardin, tournament organizer. "We would like to thank the Robinson family for letting us honor Charlie this way."
  The golf tournament raises money to benefit local high school students with funds for college scholarships.
  Wednesday's event brought out 56 participants teamed in four-man groups. At a $100 entry fee per team, Hardin said he expected the tournament to hit its average dollar goal of $6,000 for the club's scholarship fund. Teams finishing first, second and third received gifts from the EMGC's pro shop totaling $150, $100, and $50.
  Second place went to Robert Reedy and his team representing Reedy & Sykes architecture firm whose members fired a 14-under-72. The McClain's Pest Control team of Bobby McClain, Chuck Madgett, Woody Lyons, and Dallas Williams captured third place firing a combined 14-under-72.
   A team peopled with county school officials, McClain's group turned its four $50 winning certificates back into the tournament's scholarship fund.
  With Hurricane Ivan churning toward the Gulf Coast, tournament participants got in a round on the links only hours before weather conditions across the Southeast are expected to undergo a drastic change. Hardin said when he was tapped with organizing the tournament he went to an old source of information for setting a date.
  "I picked Sept. 15 because it was supposed to be a nice day according to the Farmer's Almanac," Hardin said.
   The Rotary golf tournament has been held since the mid-1980s to fund a four-year scholarship for one student each year. The scholarship fund presently supports four students at East Tennessee State University. The club raises funds while the university board selects recipients and administers the scholarship.
  "We are thinking of opening up this year and expanding this to the Tennessee Technology Center and Milligan," Hardin said.