Wednesday morning was a perfect day for the Randy Ward/Sampson County Trooper Scholarship Golf Tournament which took place at the Coharie Country Club in Clinton.
The skies were partly cloudy and temperatures hovered between 75-80 degrees. Ninety golfers teed off at 9 a.m. for a worthy cause of funding high school seniors from all five area public schools in Sampson County as well a Sampson Community College scholarships.
The troopers also had used the day as a testimony to their friendship and remembrance of the tourney’s namesake, trooper Randy Ward
The tournament was established after Ward, a Highway Patrolman, passed away from a rare blood disease in 1998. Since then fellow troopers and other law enforcement officers have been honoring his life with the Randy Ward Scholarship which was made possible by money raised from the golf tournament.
In 2005, the Ward scholarship became endowed so the troopers started a second scholarship, which continues yearly.
Trooper Scott Register said he plays in the golf tournament each year in honor of Ward. “It’s for a great cause and it also helps kids to be able to attend college and gives to underprivileged children at Christmas,” said Register.
S.B. Lewis, also a trooper, doesn’t play golf but serves as a volunteer each year. “I feel it’s my obligation to help each year, to help others and make it enjoyable for all golfers participating. I try to make the experience enjoyable by serving water and drinks to make sure they are comfortable in the heat,” asserted Lewis.
Tina Byrd, secretary for the local Highway Patrol office, said this year’s tournament has been another success and the weather had been fantastic for golf.
“The Randy Ward Scholarship funds two $750 scholarships to Sampson Community College and the Sampson County Troopers Scholarship awards $5,000 per year, $1000 for each public school in Sampson County,” said Byrd.
“The players fee’s proceeds allows us to shop for needy children at Christmas, which is a wonderful experience,” added Byrd.
After 18 holes of golf, everyone enjoyed the luncheon. Afterwards was the awards ceremony. The first place team was Randy Bain, Bobby Peterson, Kris Allen, and Tony Parrish. The second place team was J. W. Vinson, Palmer Smith, Doug Smith, and Ryan Elvin. Third place was Robbie Thompson, David Tyndall, Randy Knowles, and Jeff Harvell. Fourth place winners were J.L. Spell, Randy Barefoot, John Prestage and Michael Pope.
The day concluded with door prizes.
“Everyone seemed to have really enjoyed the weather today, the food was good, and all had a great day of fellowship, concluded,” noted Byrd, who also offered her appreciation to everyone for their participation.