Jones’ golfers raise thousands

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 16, 2005

On the athletic fields, Art Jones could be quite the competitor; aside from playing for Pittsburgh in the NFL, he helped turn the Suffolk High football team into a local powerhouse.

&uot;They beat us all the time,&uot; said Charles Modlin, who faced Jones’ team on the gridiron as a member of the Smithfield squad.

But off the field, Jones spent decades helping Suffolk students succeed in the classrooms, on the fields, and everywhere else. Now that he’s gone, local golfers get together every year to continue his work.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;He was a very good man,&uot; Modlin said, putting on the greens of the Nansemond River Golf Club in the 10th annual Art Jones Memorial Tournament Wednesday. &uot;He did a lot for education and athletics all around Suffolk.&uot;

Over 150 golfers hit the course for the tournament in memory of the former Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sponsor. Helped along by dozens of sponsors, the event raised over $50,000 for the NSA athletic programs and endowment fund, which will be used for future projects, scholarships and renovations around the school. Development director Kenda Council mentioned the refurbishment of the school’s upper-school gymnasium as a possible future project.

At about 11:30 that morning, Peggy Horton was working in the registration tent when she saw a helicopter fly down near the Club’s chipping green. Moments later, two buckets of golf balls fell from the flyer.

Suddenly, someone ran up and told Horton that she’d just won $1,000. She was one of a few hundred people to put her name on one of the balls, and the one that came the closest to the hole won the money. Hers had dropped right in.

&uot;Everybody called my name,&uot; said Horton, who said she planned to give the money to her dad to help with his emphysema. &uot;I thought they needed something, and then I found out that I’d won.&uot;