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The James M. Dye Foundation's third Birdies for Bucks Golf Classic was another huge success and will have a direct impact on South Georgia State College students seeking to earn a college degree. The event, held April 21 at the Okefenokee Country Club, raised over $16,000 for the Foundation's Gap Fund Program.
"The success of this year's tournament is a testament to the commitment of each sponsor, player, and volunteer to both South Georgia State College and the ultimate success of our students," said SGSC Interim President Dr. Greg Tanner. "This tournament helps our students realize the dream of a college degree, and for that, I am very thankful."
The Foundation's Gap Fund Program provides mini-grants to students who encounter an outstanding tuition and fee balance after exhausting all other sources of financial aid.
Dye Foundation President Pam Taylor is grateful for those who supported the event through sponsorships, fielding a team, and/or serving as a volunteer. "Community support is vital if a tournament like this is going to be successful," she said. "I'm proud of everyone who had a role in making sure this year's event was a great experience for each team, and, ultimately, for the students who will benefit from the tournament's success. The late Dr. James M. Dye would be proud to know that the vision and mission he had for this Foundation 47 years ago remains relevant today and will continue to do so in the future."
The tournament featured a four-player scramble format, and prizes were awarded to the top four teams in gross and net categories. The team of Schley Eldridge, Ellis McNeal, Kobe Manders, and Robbie Horsley took top honors in gross score. The team of John Riley Strickland, Michael Carter, Patrick Arrington, and Troy Taylor finished first in net score.
Foundation Executive Director Taylor Hereford echoed Pam Taylor's thoughts as he knows the tournament is only as successful as the sponsors, players, and volunteers who support it.
"I am extremely proud of the fact that we had a full field of 22 teams this year," Hereford said. "We also had tremendous volunteer support with over 20 people helping us on tournament day. Several new sponsors signed on this year, and there were many sponsors who have been with us since the first event in 2019. I will always be thankful for those partnerships."
Hereford wished to thank the tournament planning committee, chaired by Randy Yonz. Other committee members were Melissa King, Paige Taylor, Pam Taylor, and Bryant Wiggins.
"An event like this takes a lot of planning," said Hereford. "Initial conversations began last fall, and the committee began meeting weekly in late January. This tournament would not have been possible without the support and feedback of this committee."
The Foundation would like to thank the following for supporting the 2023 tournament:
Gold Sponsors – BYRT, Memorial Satilla Health
Bronze Sponsors – Hospice Satilla, Lewis & Raulerson, Inc., Southern Crown Partners, Waycross Convention & Visitors Bureau
Driving Range Sponsors – Citizens to Elect Justice Boggs, Inc., Clayton Waycross Home Building Facility, Coca-Cola, Music Funeral Home, SGSC Faculty, Walmart
Hole Sponsors – Alpha Delta Kappa, Beta Lambda Chapter; Ameris Bank; CRH Cardiology Group; CRH Oncology Group; CRH Surgical Group; CRH Women's Center; Crossway Realty; JLM Actuarial; Howard Meadows State Farm; Miller Tire Pros; Morton & Peavey, D.M.D.; Okefenokee Ducks Unlimited; Orthopedic Surgeons of Georgia; Satilla REMC; Southeastern Credit Union; Summit Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery; Waycross Bank & Trust; Waycross Magazine; Waycross Urology, Clinic, P.C.; Yarbrough's Office Products & Printing
Hole Contest Sponsors – Roger Collins, James M. Dye Foundation, Fyzical Therapy & Balance Centers, Jake & Ed's, Lee Hardware & Building Supply, Lefand Chiropractic Center, P.C., Miller Tire Pros, Lowe's, Okefenokee Country Club, Satilla Marine, Walker Jones
Tournament Lunch – Friendly Express
Special Thanks – Wendy Bullock, Coca-Cola, Community Volunteers, Dye Foundation Board of Trustees, J. Green & Co., Melissa King, Okefenokee Country Club, Mike Ranew, SGSC Volunteers, Stewart Distribution, Paige Taylor, Pam Taylor, Bryant Wiggins, Randy Yonz
Teams – Team 1-A: Randy Yonz, Dr. Christopher Yonz, Matthew Yonz, Mike Ranew; Team 1-B: Adam Tolle, Matthew Tuten, Chris Wysong, Daniel Benson; Team 2: Zach Wheeler, Wesley Kellum, Chris Waters, John Strickland; Team 3: Terrell McCall, Howard Meadows, Randy Buck, Billy Gillis; Team 4: Daniel Stewart, Daniel White, Randy Stringer, Walt Howard; Team 5: Russell Bates, Taylor Hines, Lee Bishop, Brent Hopkins; Team 6: Schley Eldridge, Ellis McNeal, Kobe Manders, Robbie Horsley; Team 7: James Willis, Bobby Tippins, Randy Grantham, Mike Bryson; Team 8-A: Don James, Sparky Sharpton, Phil Suess, Bryant Wiggins; Team 8-B: Sam Stovall, Gene Sapp, David Enfinger, Alvin Henderson; Team 9: Dr. Wade Dye, Dale Neely, Jeff Seitz, Greg O'Quinn; Team 10: Jeff O'Quinn, Brad Herrin, Andy Wilson, Brad Cone; Team 11: Cliff Knowlton, Dutch McNeal, Jake Walker, Zach Smith; Team 12-A: Austin Delk, David Barnett, Zach Taylor, Justin Powell; Team 12-B: David Morton, Hunt Kelly, Greg O'Brien, E.J. Head; Team 13: Bob Hereford, Strat Theologus, Daniel Warren, Truman McClain; Team 14: John Riley Strickland, Michael Carter, Patrick Arrington, Troy Taylor; Team 15-A: Brandon Carter, Greg Jacobs, Bert Smith, Bob Brown; Team 15-B: Parker Peagler, Hunter Rowland, Cary Bennett, Trace Carter; Team 16: Jonathan Roundtree, Jack Fulford, Jacob Gibson, Cecil Thomas; Team 17: Jeff Timothy, Stewart Bailey, Bradley Cammack, Jason Childers; Team 18: Justin Dykes, A.J. Ethridge, Dylan Prefontaine, Devin Dykes.
The Birdies for Bucks Golf Classic is held every two years. The next event is being planned for spring 2025.
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