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MLK Tournament a success
Former Falcon quarterback Steve Bartkowski looks to hit the green. - photo by By Patty Leon / Coastal Courier
The wind was not enough to blow away avid golfers from the Martin Luther King Golf Tournament Saturday afternoon.
With former Atlanta Falcon quarterback Steve Bartkowski leading the way, his team, representing the Hampton Island Preserve, hit the greens at 1 p.m. at Cherokee Rose Golf Course in Hinesville.
The tournament was a fundraiser to fund scholarships for graduates of high schools in Liberty County. The MLK Association was hoping to exceed last year’s total by raising $10,000, enough for 10 $1,000 scholarships.
“I came to Liberty County in 2002 and joined the MLK organization two years later,” Velma M. Tyler the tournament’s chairwoman said. “We were discussing about how to make certain that the youth in this community had money for scholarships and I came up with the golf tournament. It’s been a tremendous success. We have excellent cooperation from everyone. I’m ecstatic today because it turned out to be a beautiful day for everyone to have a good time. Our goal is $10,000 and I think we will exceed that today.”
Bartkowski has been an avid golfer since 1978 and decided he would play for the team of his future second home.
“I’m hoping we raise lots of money for the kids,” he said. “That’s our number one priority here. Hampton Island Preserve is going to be a second home for my family and me. We are in the process of building a house there so I plan to be around a lot the next 18 months. This part of Georgia is the most pristine and undiscovered land on the East Coast.
“The marshland and big trees speak to my soul. I’m going to wake up every morning and ponder whether I should go golfing or fishing or sit around and eat the vegetables from the organic garden.”
Alvin Settles’ team won the tournament, scoring a 58, 13 under par.
The tournament looks likely to exceed the $10,000 goal. Organizer Kenny Howard said so far they had $9,500 but were still waiting for some incoming funds.
“I’m grateful for all those that God has allowed us to be with to put this thing together,” MLK Association President Alvin Jackson said.
“Today is a lot of fun and it’s nice to see folks get together for a good cause,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. “I’m not an avid golfer, but I am a golfer. I like to be out here and enjoy playing with friends of mine. To have someone like Steve here shows the importance of giving back to the community and it meant a great deal to the MLK Association and the city.”
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