SEF tourney attracts large turnout

Published 10:39 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

It certainly wasn’t an ordinary October day.

With temperatures ranging in the 80s Thursday, there was nothing characteristically “autumn” about it.

It was a great day for golf, and more than 80 golfers showed up at the Nansemond River Golf Course Thursday afternoon to take advantage of it and to raise money for a worthy cause.

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They were there to play in the Suffolk Education Foundation 11th Annual Golf Benefit supporting Suffolk Public Schools.

The benefit is one of the largest fundraisers for the foundation. It is beaten only by the annual school campaign, in which Suffolk Public Schools faculty and staff designate payroll deductions for the organization.

Last year, the golf benefit raised approximately $21,000, according to SEF Executive Director Tim Copeland. This year, with the turnout and sponsor support, he said, the benefit should do just as well, despite the recent economic trouble.

“We’re going to be close,” Copeland said. “You don’t have to tell anybody today the economy’s bad, but we’re still going to be close (to last year).”

Electronic Systems returned as the title sponsor for the event, and the tournament saw multiple new sponsors, such as the Landmark Hotel Group and CW Brinkley.

“There were a number of different sponsors that haven’t been with us previously, which … allows us to tap into different avenues,” Copeland said.

Beginning at noon on Thursday, the golfers played in an 18-hole tournament for a chance to win Nansemond River Golf Course gift certificates.

But the true winner of the day was the Suffolk Education Foundation.

The foundation was established to raise money “to help the city schools build a better tomorrow today,” according to foundation publications.

The organization strives to reach that goal by enhancing the quality of education that Suffolk Public Schools’ students receive.

The foundation helps teachers receive staff development, it improves student access to computers and other classroom technologies, and it offers a scholarship program for both students and teachers to help them further their education.

“It’s just a good tournament, and it all comes from the fact that everybody’s there to support education and have a good time, and that just seems to happen,” Copeland said.

For more information on the Suffolk Education Foundation, visit Suffolk Public Schools online at