Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 14, 2013

Local AJGA tourney honored for giving

Event made $42K-plus in contributions

Staff report
The Independent

ASHLAND — Local organizers of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior have earned the Charitable Giving Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The award is given each year to a tournament or tournament committee that exceeds expectations in fundraising and contribution to grassroots junior golf charities. In 2012, the tournament made more than $42,000 in charitable contributions.

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 honors the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new tournament, best invitational and overall tournament of the year.

The NRP Bluegrass Junior was June 12 through 15 at Bellefonte Country Club. As one of the longest-running events on the AJGA’s schedule, the NRP Bluegrass Junior has won a number of awards, including the Volunteer Award (2001), Junior-Am Award (2008), Tournament of the Year (2009) and the Charitable Giving Award (2011).

The tournament’s focus on helping promote grassroots junior golf is evident in its 2012 donation of $18,000 to local high school golf teams, $2,000 to the Eastern Kentucky Golf Association, $5,000 to the Yancey Scholarship Fund and more than $17,000 to the AJGA ACE Grant. During the last six years, the tournament has given more than $195,000 to local charities and the AJGA Foundation.

“Our goal at the NRP Bluegrass Junior is to provide visiting juniors a first-class tournament experience and at the same time give local players the opportunity to match their skills against the best from all over the world,” said tournament chairman Jeff Conley.

“Hosting the NRP Bluegrass Junior at Bellefonte each year has not only heightened local interest in junior golf, but has also given local players incentive to improve their game, hoping for the opportunity to play in our event. It was decided early on in the evolution of this tournament that because golf is a nonrevenue sport, the best way to promote junior golf and elevate the quality of local players was to help fund area high school programs.”

The tournament will return to BCC for the 30th consecutive year on June 11 through 14.