Golf tournament for Union Grove highlights successful day

Vaughn Belcher, career educator and long-time golfer, has once again brought together his passions to the benefit of the community in his second-annual Vaughn Belcher Charity Golf Tournament.

The tournament was held on April 20 at the Rarity Point Golf and Country Club. Last year, Belcher and others brought together golf enthusiasts, donors and sponsoring businesses to raise about $14,000 for the Alcoa School System, where Belcher was a teacher and an administrator for 30 years. This year, he shared his time helping Union Grove Middle School, where his daughter, Anissa Hudson, is following in her father’s footsteps as an 8th-grade Social Studies teacher. Seventeen teams of 4 players each competed, and the winners received gift certificates for the golf course and facilities.

Businesses like Anderson Lumber and Aubrey’s Restaurant sponsored the tournament. Belcher, now an Alcoa City Commissioner, reports that even in a weak market, most of last year’s donors chose to participate again this year. “The economy right now is hurting, but still a lot of businesses stepped forward to help me,” Belcher said.

That help, along with the support of the 68 players, means that Union Grove Middle School will receive $11,627.10 from the tournament. With their $6000, the cheerleaders will be able to buy uniforms that are the school colors; the art program will be able to purchase vital new equipment with its $3000; and the Beta club will get $2,000 to support its academic and service programs. The remaining money will be given to the school to be distributed as needed, Belcher said.

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