Local organizers of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior, which took place at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky., June 14 – 17, 2011, have earned the Charitable Giving Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The Charitable Giving Award honors a championship that exceeds expectations in fundraising and contribution to grassroots junior golf charities.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual media coverage, Junior-Am fundraising tournament, volunteer base and hospitality. The AJGA also recognizes its golf professional of the year, most improved event, best new tournament, best Invitational, and overall tournament of the year.
As one of the longest-running tournaments on the AJGA schedule, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior has won a number of awards throughout its tenure, including the Volunteer Award (2001), Junior-Am Award (2001, 2008) and Tournament of the Year (2009). Now it can add Charitable Giving to its resume.
“We have volunteers that have worked every single year the AJGA has been to Bellefonte and people take vacations around the event so they can be a part of it," said Tammy Wall, Media Chairman and former Tournament Chairman. “When Natural Resource Partners got involved it became the philosophy to give back and that is why we have seen such a growth in the past few years."
The community continues to rally around the event year after year as it needs two rounds of the Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament to accommodate all people wanting to participate. In 2011, the event gave $28,000 to a number of local high school golf programs as well as the Yancey Scholarship Fund and the Eastern Kentucky Junior Golf Association. Over the past five years, the tournament has given more than $153,000 to local charities and the AJGA Foundation.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for our tournament's true purpose,” said Jeff Conley, Tournament Chairman. “We love being able to give our local juniors the opportunity to compete at the highest level and support local high school golf teams with our contributions. Being able to assist the AJGA in their charitable programs makes it even more satisfying."
The Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior will return to Bellefonte Country Club for the 29th consecutive year on June 12 – 15, 2012.