By Jessica Brodie
BLYTHEWOOD—They swung, they hit (or missed) and they had some fun—and all for the students of Africa University.
United Methodist golfers from across South Carolina and beyond headed to Cobblestone Golf Course in Blythewood Sept. 28 for the annual Africa University Golf Outing, an opportunity to raise money for student scholarships at Africa University.
Africa University is the first fully accredited United Methodist-related educational institution on the African continent. Opening in March 1992 with 40 students, today there are 1,480 full-time students enrolled, representing 25 African countries. The vast majority of their alumni are first-generation college graduates. Many are orphans and the children of pastors, farmworkers, teachers, nurses and others whose incomes are barely enough to provide for their families’ basic needs.
Bishop Jonathan Holston was among the dozens of teams who participated in the tournament, which cost $100 per person and also featured 57 corporate and other sponsorships.
“One of the reasons Africa University is one of the missions of the South Carolina Conference is the unique attachment between us,” Holston said from his golf cart. “The tournament is a way to connetct people in a significant way, financially, spiritually and hands-on.”
“We had over 77 participants, and final numbers are still coming in, but we raised more than $8,000 toward AU and exceeded our goal,” said Ronald D. Friday, who organized the tournament along with Rev. John Culp and James Salley, who is Africa University’s associate vice-chancellor for institutional advancement.
Salley lifted up the “overwhelming support” of those who headed out to Cobblestone to play golf and raise funds for Africa University, especially the large number of return participants.
“Support from Africa University is stronger than ever,” Salley said.
The tournament also featured several winners. Arnold Hilton won longest drive for men, while Dianne Martin won longest drive for women. Martin also won for closest to the pin for women, while Ken Timmerman won closest to the pin for men. Winning teams were, first place, the Carr Team (Clyde Carr, Bernard Johnson, Otis Carr and Donnie King); second place, the Mount Horeb Team (Jeff Kersey, Aaron Kersey, Brian Rainwater and Skip Almond); and third place, the Claflin Team (Rodney Hudson, David Walker, Rhet Jenkins and Franklin Pelzer).
Organizers are already planning for next year’s tournament, slated for Sept. 26, 2016, at Cobblestone Golf Course.
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