March 7, 2014
For the fifth consecutive year, the CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods in The Woodlands, Texas, won the American Junior Golf Association fundraising category of tournament awards. The Junior-Am Fundraising award honors a tournament committee that exceeds expectations through its Junior-Am tournament.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am fundraising, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with the highest media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new event, best Junior-All Star tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Awards will be presented at the J.R. “Digger” Smith Awards Banquet in Braselton, Ga., on March 8.
The CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods has an esteemed history with past champions such as Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth. The event also has been recognized as Invitational of the Year twice (2011, 2009) because it creates an unparalleled championship experience. This experience is due, in large part, to the generosity of a network of friends, businesses, and organizations surrounding the event.
Since the event found its home at The Club at Carlton Woods in 2009, the Tournament Committee has raised more than $610,500, including $180,000 in 2014, through its Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament. The event is successful because of the efforts of Gary Whitlock and Chris Dernick.
Dernick has been involved with the AJGA since the mid-1990s when her children played junior golf. She has been chairman of the CB&I Boys Championship at Carlton Woods event since 2009 with a change of venue to her home course.
“I look at the whole event as a charity, even the cost of the event itself, because we are helping juniors with the opportunity to get a college scholarship,” said Dernick, also named winner of the 2012 J.R. “Digger” Smith Award for longtime support of junior golf. “Having three children play, I know how costly it is and that it’s not possible for every family, so we do as much as we can to help them have the opportunity to participate. I want every child who is eligible to be able to come.”
Dernick also feels a great pride in the Presidents’ Day weekend event which celebrates the honor and sacrifice of the military by hosting service men and women from each branch during the week. Other activities include donating a commemorative golf bag filled with thank-you notes from juniors in the field, along with a dog tag from each junior, to Tee it up for the Troops and through post-event financial support.
“Presidents’ Day weekend is a patriotic holiday and to me, it’s a perfect opportunity to help the kids be aware of the importance of patriotism in our country,” Dernick said. “That’s why we chose this date from the very first year. We wanted to have something significant on this date that they would remember.
“We have a lot of sponsors who have been with our event since the first year. I’ve had many people tell me that it’s their favorite thing that their companies are involved with. They really enjoy being involved with these juniors, following their successes and giving back to veterans. It’s just such a win-win.”