Ardmore locals took a break from work to play golf while raising thousands of dollars in scholarship money for future Carter County high school graduates.
The 27th annual MORE Foundation Golf Tournament teed off Monday at the Dornick Hills Country Club in Ardmore. Twenty-nine teams competed against each other for bragging rights, country club pro-shop gift cards, and in an effort to raise money for the foundation.
The MORE Foundation awards scholarships to average income families throughout Carter County, operating on donations and money raised through events.
“The scholarships are designed for average income families because they are often forgotten,” said Jeanie Pointer, spokesperson for the MORE Foundation.
Local companies, and individuals came together to compete in the tournament. Companies like Dollar General, Ardmore City Schools, DOT Foods, Ideal Home Care and the TIIPS agency all were a part of the morning’s competition.
Marc and Vicky Peters have been competing in the MORE Foundation Golf Tournament for the last six or seven years as a part of the Ardmore City Schools team.
They said they choose to compete in the tournament because they are both educators and it’s a good way to help the student’s they interact with every day, but also because their two daughters were both MORE scholarship recipients.
“The promise of this foundation and this scholarship is so helpful,” Marc said. “We know the kids from Ardmore that receive this scholarship, so we’re just here to support them. We’re worried about their debt after college.”
The MORE Foundation has given nearly $8.5 million since the foundation’s inception in 1990. One-hundred students from the graduating classes of 2017 in Carter County received some sort of scholarship form the foundation, totaling $600,000.
Ardmore local Larry Darter was a recipient of the scholarship in 1992. He now competes in the tournament as a way to give back to the community, and the foundation that helped him complete his education.
“I finished a degree in education from East Central University,” Darter said. “The scholarship was $500 each semester, and it made the opportunity to get the degree possible. It’s the reason I play in the tournament, well that and I love golf.”
What sets the MORE Foundation scholarship apart from other scholarships is that it follows the student, meaning that if a student was awarded a $500 dollar scholarship it would regenerate each year for four years.
Last year’s tournament raised over $20,000 for the foundation, this year Executive Director Roslyn Haile said she hoped to raise around the same amount.
“Everyone is so generous that it usually stays pretty consistent,” Haile said. “It makes my heart happy to see those who were recipients come back to play in this tournament. It’s a blessing because we could not do what we do without all of (our donors).”
The tournament lasted throughout the day with a morning and afternoon session. Winners from each session won gift certificates to the country club’s pro-shop with the first place team taking home $100 gift certificates, second place receiving $75 gift certificates and the third place team receiving $50 gift certificates.