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story.lead_photo.caption Photo submitted The Benton Country Boys and Girls Club is one of the beneficiaries of the Cooper Communities Northwest Arkansas Charity Classic, a golf tournament coming to the Country Club in June. Last year's proceeds helped fund this new putting green at the Bella Vista Unit.

Last year, three local charities shared $21,000 raised in the Cooper Communities Northwest Arkansas Charity Classic, a professional golf tournament coming to the Bella Vista Country Club in late June. That was up from $18,500 the year before. This year, there will be five charities benefiting from the annual event.

The Bella Vista Animal Shelter has been involved since the beginning, board chairman Curt Stoops said.

Cooper Communities

Northwest Arkansas Charity Classic

Country Club Golf Course, Bella Vista

June 10-15, 2019

Monday, June 10th

All Day – Player practice at Country Club Golf Course

5:00 p.m. – Pro-Am Party and Silent Auction at BV Bar & Grill

Tuesday, June 11th

7:30 a.m. – Morning Shotgun Start for Pro-Am Tournament

12:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony after Completion of Golf Rounds

1:00 p.m. – Afternoon Shotgun Start for Pro-Am Tournament

5:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony after Completion of Golf Rounds

6:00 p.m. – Junior Golf Clinic

6:30 p.m. – Pro’s Long Drive Contest on Hole 10

Wednesday, June 12th

All Day – APT Professional Golf Tournament

Thursday, June 13th

All Day – APT Professional Golf Tournament

Friday, June 14th

All Day – APT Professional Golf Tournament

Saturday, June 15th

All Day – Final Round of APT Professional Golf Tournament

1:00 p.m. – Awards Ceremony for Winner

"It's a nice number," he said about the donation. The shelter is a nonprofit that depends on donated funds to stay open. It runs its own golf tournament in July, Stoops said. Being part of the Cooper Classic is a lot less work, he said.

Besides the large donation from the profits, the tournament also gives each charity the chance to enter up to five items in the silent auction. The charities receive all the proceeds from their auction items. The shelter already has several items for the auction, including two baskets of pet products.

Each charity is asked to put together at least two teams for the ProAm Tournament. A team is made of one of the APT pros and three amateurs. The money raised through ProAm entry fees goes to the charities. A golfer himself, Stoops has already put together three teams for the ProAm Tournament. His teams are made up of several shelter supporters, he said.

It's the second year for the Courtesy Van to be involved, board chairman Bill Puskas said. The Courtesy Van's volunteer drivers and schedulers help Bella Vista residents who can't drive themselves get to medical appointments and the grocery store. The organization owns three vans, but only two are in use most of the week. On Fridays, all three are on the road, he said.

Puskas also appreciates the chance to get the Courtesy Van's name out to the public, although it's been operating for years.

"It's surprising the number of people who don't know that we provide services or that it's free," he said.

Courtesy Van has two teams in the ProAm and they're talking to businesses about silent auction items.

"It's a terrific idea. It's great fundraising and it's fun. You get to learn a little bit about other charities and about Bella Vista. You can always learn more about Bella Vista."

It's the third year for the Boys and Girls Club of Benton County, which operates a program in Bella Vista. Among the items that board collected for the silent auction is a flag, signed by golfers in the other professional tournament, the LPGA tournament in Rogers, Brooke Allen, director of development, said.

This year, the Bella Vista unit of the Boys and Girls Club unveiled a new putting green on its campus, funded by the Bella Vista Foundation with tournament funds, David Nicholson, unit manager, said.

"The kids really enjoyed it when they finally got on it this week," Nicholson said. "They love something new."

Two charities new to the APT tournament this year are Village House and the Bella Vista Sunrise Rotary.

Village House provides daytime care for adults who can't be left home alone. Many of their clients have dementia. Director Sara Scott said the proceeds will go to its operating funds.

Her board is very active, so filling two teams for the ProAm isn't a problem. Some of the same board members are looking for silent auction items.

Although this is the first time the Bella Vista Sunrise Rotary Club has participated as a charity, it's actually not the first time it participated. The APT tournament was held at the Highlands golf course for two years, and the Rotary Club cooked and served a meal for volunteers. This year, with the tournament moving to the Country Club which happens to have its own restaurant, there was no need for the Rotarian's grilling expertise, so the club was offered the opportunity to become one of the charity beneficiaries.

The Bella Vista Sunrise Rotary always donates to other charities, president Tom Throne said. Internationally, Rotary Clubs participate in a drive to eradicate polio around the world, he said. There are still a few polio cases left in about three countries.

Locally, the Rotary funds several scholarships for students at Bentonville High School and at Northwest Arkansas Community College. It also gives small grants to local organizations like Village House and the Courtesy Van.

The Bella Vista Club has members from three different school systems, Bentonville, Gravette and Pea Ridge, and when one of those schools has a need, the club may consider funding it. For example, it is helping pay for a pilot program in Pea Ridge dealing with discipline and it bought new library furniture for the middle school in Gravette.

It hasn't decided where the APT money will go, Throne said.

"There are a lot of golfers in Rotary," Throne said. Some local members are visiting other Rotary Clubs in the area to recruit for ProAm teams.

The tournament can accommodate 56 ProAm teams, and each one adds to the amount that will be split among the charities, Charlie Teal of the Bella Vista Foundation said. Not all the tournament spots were filled last year, but this year is looking better. He believes the amateur golfers will be more comfortable playing on the Country Club Course, which is more "playable" then the Highlands.

The Rotary also lent some members to the Foundation's sponsor committee. New sponsors will also increase the charity donation, Teal said, so the help was welcome.

General News on 04/10/2019

Print Headline: Charities benefit from pro golf tournament

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