The sixth annual Van Buren Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament got underway on Monday (Sept. 16) at Eagle Crest in Alma. More than 100 players took part in the four-person scramble tournament.
The event kicked-off with registration and a noon lunch where players were treated to hamburgers, chicken, chips and dessert. Teams then made their way to their designated carts where they were given instructions by course pro, Andrew Dahal.
Play began with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The tournament was 18 holes and included special competitions along the way. Rhodes Chevrolet sponsored a "Hole-in-One" contest on hole two, offering a 2014 Camaro to the winner. Golfers could also compete in the putting contest, as well as a "closest to the pin" and "longest drive" event.
Twenty-seven teams participated in the tournament, up eleven from the previous year. Dozens of chamber members also served as volunteers, handing out drinks, driving golf carts and helping with registration.
Each of the course's 18 holes were sponsored by an individual chamber member. Arkansas Valley Electric was the tournament's corporate sponsor with Cox Business serving as the day's lunch sponsor. More than 60 door prizes were also donated for the event.
"We had an overwhelming response from our members and chamber ambassadors," said Janie Simmons of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce. "We are so pleased with how many players and volunteers took part this year."
Proceeds from the tournament benefit the chamber's education initiatives, including its annual scholarship to a Crawford County high school graduate. Organizers hoped to raise $7,500 from the event.
"We are very grateful to all of the players, sponsors, and volunteers who made this event possible," said Jackie Krutsch, executive director of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce. "This year's tournament was our biggest ever and it is because of these businesses and individuals that it was such a success."
Following the tournament, a reception was held at Eagle Crest where awards were presented to the winning teams. Taking first place in the first flight was the Arvest Bank team which included members Brett Bolton, Bob Martin, Brian Nave, and Cody Pugh.
In the second flight, the Inge Independent Insurance team won first place. Team members included Ryan Decker, Kelton Inge, Lynn Inge and Keith Raley. The River City Coating team, consisting of members Kevin Brazil, Gerald Ezell, Bill Moore and Fred Rogers, won the top spot in the third flight.