Dino's tourney shaping up rather nicely

By Jeff Birchfield

   With 52 tee sponsors already confirmed and goals of having all sponsors finalized by May 28, the Seventh Annual Dino Senesi Golf Classic is starting to take shape.
   "It's going real well," said organizing committee member Dale Fair. "We started early this year. We feel like we're ready to get the players and to go with it. All the major arrangements are made.
   "The fun of the day and how this tournament helps the future operation of the Boys and Girls Club, that's what makes this so exciting."
   Meetings leading up to the event are an integral part of making this a success. A misnomer is that you have to be a golfer to contribute to the event.
   Darlene Tipton, one of the key members in getting the Dino's tournament organized, admits: "I don't golf and couldn't golf my way out of a paper bag.
   "Originally, I was on the committee because they wanted two volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club. Once on a committee I'm stuck on it, but this is a good one to be stuck on. It's a lot of fun."
   Tipton and Fair weren't the only ones at a Tuesday meeting held at Dino's Restaurant. Others included Brent Dugger, Allen Frost, coach Dave Rider, Dr. Danny Smith, Sid Davison and Judy Veeneman.
   The group discussed companies already committed to this year's field-of-event sponsors and some expected to come aboard over the next couple of weeks. They are also anticipating more celebrity participation.
   "The Voice of the Vols" Bob Kesling, Tennessee's football and basketball announcer, has stated he expects to join UT coaches Al Brown and John Chavis in town for the tournament.
   Still, the focus of the event remains the Boys and Girls Club.
   "We have a facility here we're very proud of," said Fair. "A program that we're proud of. We want to keep a good thing going. This event is a major fund raiser. If not for that fund raising, we couldn't have such a quality facility for the youth of Carter County."
   The preparation for this event takes months in advance. "Each of us have different duties like we have someone that does the financial report and etceteras," said Tipton. "I have a lot of paper because I'm a pack rat, but it gives you someplace to start.
   "I type up lists to work off of like entry forms and sponsors lists. It's just a matter of changing them over to the next year forms. We start meeting in February and the forms remind you that next time you see so and so to mention the tournament. When we meet in February, June seems so far away, but it sneaks up on you."
   The day that sneaks up is Monday, June 17 when the tournament takes place. For Fair and others, this day means giving a lot of support for the participants.
   "I've been on this committee all seven years," said Fair. "I'm not a golfer, but I enjoy working on the committee as a volunteer. There's always opportunities if you want to volunteer. We have a hole-in-one and putting contests. If it's a hot day, we distribute water during the day.
   "There are numerous jobs providing support for the 144 people playing in the tournament. The little things, all the small jobs are what makes the tournament. We have one of the best tournaments around and we want to keep it that way."
   Tipton recalls a time before the Dino's Classic was established as one of the premier local events.
   "I remember the first year chairman Ronnie Taylor stayed up all night," said Tipton. "He was afraid we wouldn't have any players, but it ended up we had too many players.
   "A lot of people showed up the day of the event. A lot of people's schedules got free and they wanted to come out. There's a lot of work on the day of the event, whether it's placing people in carts or putting them on a team."
   If you played in the Dino's Classic in previous years or a new player interested in taking part, forms can still be picked up at Dino's Restaurant and at the Elizabethton Golf Course. Keep looking in the STAR for future updates.