Bledsoe Golf Tournament draws friends back to support Alcoa schools

Wayne Green, Bill Jolly, Ron Myers, Mike Myers and R.H. Jewell are ready to roll.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

Wayne Green, Bill Jolly, Ron Myers, Mike Myers and R.H. Jewell are ready to roll.

The annual Tim Bledsoe Golf Tournament is always about more than just golf.

It’s about raising funds for Alcoa City Schools Foundation, and this year, for the Alcoa High School Athletic Department. But it’s more than that, too.

The golf tournament, held this year on May 28 at Pine Lakes Golf Course in Rockford, is also about re-connecting with friends and supporters of Alcoa schools.

Circuit Court Judge David Duggan had a ready example: On his rounds to take drinks to the golfers, Duggan looked up to see Jim Riddick, Wayne Dixon and Dick Abbott on the course.

“Richard Borden and I were taking drinks to players,” tells Duggan, “and there stood Jim Riddick and Wayne Dixon with (former assistant basketball coach) Dick Abbott. How many state championship basketball players from 52 years ago can still play golf with their coach? It is a special feeling with alumni in addition to parents and friends of the system.”

Duggan said there were 84 golfers in the tournament. Retiring schools director Tom Shamblin said about $13,000 was raised before expenses.

Shamblin thanked the golfers for their support. “Your participation helps to continue the legacy of positive support that Tim Bledsoe helped to create for this community and for the foundation,” Shamblin said.

Josh Stephens, athletic director Alcoa High School, said the athletic department is always excited to partner with the Alcoa City Schools Foundation in raising money for the students at Alcoa. “We are proud to be a part of the Tim Bledsoe Memorial Tournament to recognize all the work and dedication Tim Bledsoe had for his community and the Alcoa City Schools System,” he said. “We look forward to helping support our students, both in the classroom and on the athletic field as we continue to strive to graduate competitive students.”

Bob Hasentufel, president of the Alcoa City Schools Foundation, said the Tim Bledsoe Memorial Golf Tournament is the largest fundraising event for the Alcoa City Schools Foundation. Proceeds from this tournament fund grants that go directly into classrooms, he said.

“The foundation has worked with teachers, administrators and students to encourage innovation and foster educational opportunities. Over the past 20 years, grants have been awarded to provide calculators, smart boards and the latest in interactive technology,” he said. “The mission of the foundation is to help raise the level of education for the students of the Alcoa City Schools.”

Tim Bledsoe was a long-time supporter of the Alcoa schools after his graduation in 1956.

Bledsoe, his brother Loren Bledsoe and Herman Thompson were instrumental in establishing the Alcoa City Schools Foundation. Tim Bledsoe died in 2006.

Duggan said he enjoys serving on the foundation board and helping with tournament set up in Tim Bledsoe’s name. “Tim was a good friend of mine, and it is a way to honor his memory,” Duggan said. “There is just a special feeling when you attend the tournament.”

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