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Bella Vista Charity Classic underway

June 23, 2021 at 2:13 p.m.

Bella Vista Animal Shelter officials are preparing for a kitten adoption event in two weeks. Numerous volunteers are wrapping up a benefit garage sale for the Bella Vista Animal Shelter, amid the sweltering heat.

Being named one of the Bella Vista Charity Classic's charities helps shelter officials handle the current busyness and plan for the future.

"We are very grateful for the POA for holding this event, and all the contributions made to other charities as well," she said.

The Bella Vista Animal Shelter is among five local charities that benefit from the tournament. The Classic -- taking place this week in Bella Vista -- gives professional golfers a chance to prepare their skills for a possible PGA tour stint.

The tournament also has a long-lasting effect on local charities.

Matney said shelter officials feel fortunate to benefit from the tournament since it began. Shelter officials apply each year. The application then is sent to a committee, which chooses the charities for that year's tournament.

Shelter officials earmark the large tournament contribution into a separate account for a future expansion. Matney said shelter officials hope to eventually tear down the old building and build a new structure.

Last year, the global health pandemic put all plans on the back burner, she said. With metal and lumber costs elevated, shelter officials do not have immediate plans for that construction, but are planning for it at some point, she said.

The shelter, the Bella Vista Courtesy Van, Bella Vista Community TV, the Boys & Girls Club of Benton County and The Rotary Club of Bella Vista all benefit from the tournament, according to the Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association's website.

Last year, the 2020 Tournament, along with the Pro-Am Party and Pro-Am Tournament, brought in sponsor revenue of $100,000 and donations of $45,000, with net proceeds of more than $45,000, the website said.

Tournament officials awarded $39,000 in grants to five local charities.

This year, Bella Vista is bustling to accommodate numerous men and women golfers over the multi-day event, which includes a silent auction, party and the Pro-Am tournament.

Women golfers in the WAPT are scheduled to play the Highlands Golf Course on June 23 and 24, while the men in the APT take on the Bella Vista Country Club Golf Course.

Both men and women are scheduled to play the Bella Vista Country Club Golf Course on June 25 and 26, according to the POA's website.

POA officials say the tournament proves exciting for players gaining great experience while offering spectators a look at some interesting play.

In 2020, Sam Stevens and Trey Mullinax tied at -28 after 72 holes of play. In the WAPT, former Arkansas Lady Razorback Maria Fassi won by four strokes at -14.

Former winner Joshua Creel moved up to the PGA Tour (now called Korn Ferry Tour) after winning in Bella Vista in 2017.

In a statement on the POA website, POA Golf Operations director Darryl Muldoon said last year's event took place, despite adjustments. "So many people quickly jumped in to make the 2020 tournament a huge success. We're very excited to bring the APT and WAPT back in 2021!"

Ruth Hatcher, volunteer coordinator, said 207 volunteers are making the events happen. "We have excellent volunteers. You couldn't ask for better," she said. "They are willing to do whatever it takes over these four days."

For more information about the tournament, visit or call 479-855-5079.

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