By Kelly Daniel
For the Opelika
On June 3, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County held their third annual Golf for Great Futures tournament at Moore’s Mill Country Club in Auburn to raise money for the educational and enrichment services that Boys and Girls Clubs provide for families in Lee County. The event featured an atmosphere more lighthearted and fun than competitive.
Trip Walton, owner of the event’s presenting sponsor The Walton Law Firm, P.C., explained that while there are awards at the tournament, there was even a ‘last place award,” reflecting that the event’s purpose is to support the high-quality youth programs offered in Lee County and that the contribution of last-place participants is equally vital to this goal.
Boys and Girls Clubs During Summer Vacation
Betty Burns, who serves the Boys and Girls.Club of Greater Lee County as its resource development director, explained that donations are particularly important during the summer months, when clubs are open all day to accommodate families during a time when children are home for summer break but many parents still have to work. “Because we are open for full days, our normal expenses double during the summer months with the need to hire more staff, more supplies, more food, etc,” Burns said.
Several local organizations contributed to the local fundraising event through volunteer work, sponsorship and donations. Burns expressed gratitude for the organizations and individuals who helped to make the event possible.
“We would like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Walton Law Firm, P.C. Trip Walton and his staff have been a huge help and support for the golf tournament, and this is their third year as presenting sponsor,” Burns said. She also expressed gratitude for Moore’s Mill Country Club for providing the facilities and other assistance with the event, as well as Moe’s BBQ “for providing our golfers a delicious lunch and Coca-Cola for providing drinks.”
Walton has supported the local Boys and Girls Clubs from the time that the organization was established.
“Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lee County has been doing excellent work serving the youth of our community for almost 30 years,” Walton said. “I have personally been a supporter of the clubs since it’s inception in our area through a family friend, Mrs. Jane Walker, who was the driving force behind bringing the Boys & Girls Clubs to Lee County.”
In addition to providing financial support, the staff at Walton Law Firm helps with event setup, registration, and other needs.
Helping Youth During the Summer
The local Boys and Girls Clubs chapter provides vital support to families and is open to all children living in the area, even assisting with discounted and free services for those who qualify for economic reasons.
By providing an all-day summer camp, the organization helps children who might otherwise be at home by themselves during the workday by offering a safe environment and opportunities to engage in fun activities. Walton explained that his professional experience has impressed upon him the importance of youth programs to providing constructive outlets for young people.
“As a former prosecutor and current defense attorney – I have seen (and continue to see) what happens when kids are left home alone to their own devices while their parents are at work, and a lot of times the result of that is not a positive,’ Walton said.
The Importance of Community Support
Participation in events like Golf for Great Futures is vital to the ability of B.G. Clubs of Lee County to serve local families. Burns explained that contrary to popular belief, Boys and Girls Clubs do not receive federal funding and thus need the financial support of individuals and businesses in the communities that they serve.
“We rely on funds from grants, foundations, individual donors and fundraising events, such as the 3rd Annual Golf for Great Futures Tournament,” Burns said.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Lee County has held golf tournaments in years past but has recently brought them back, as Burns explained.
“We brought back our golf tournament a few years ago as a way to reach a different demographic or group of people that may not be familiar with Boys & Girls Clubs in our area and bringing them an opportunity to support the youth of Lee County while doing an activity that they love, golf,” Burns said.