Ouachita Baptist University will host the third annual FORE Ouachita golf tournament on Monday, Sept. 26, at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock. Proceeds from the tournament will help fund athletic scholarships at Ouachita.
This year, Bentley Blackmon, vice president of Private Client Group at Stephens, Inc. in Little Rock and 1994 OBU graduate with a major in accounting, chaired the tournament’s steering committee. Twenty-five Ouachita alumni from Central Arkansas also served on the committee.
“A golf tournament is a great way to share the Ouachita story. It is event fundraising, which is very different than personal visits or Phone-a-Thon solicitation,” said Keisha Pittman, an OBU development officer and coordinator for the event. “Events bring in alumni and friends who may not connect with us through anything else. Events also carry with them a high level of ‘friend-raising.’ This is just as important.
“When participants, whether they be alumni, vendors, prospective donors or parents of students, get together with other Ouachita people, they see the relationships that make Ouachitonians special,” Pittman added. “They see the lifelong connection and camaraderie between the generations of those involved. … We share a common bond because we shared time in a common place.”
More than 130 participants are registered to compete in this year’s tournament, and almost 30 corporate sponsors have signed on for the event. Many participants are former Ouachita athletes who are seeking to not only give back to the university but to also introduce colleagues and friends to Ouachita. During the past two years, FORE Ouachita has raised a total of $100,000 toward scholarships.
“Ouachita was a special place to these guys. They know that they were on a scholarship because someone else made it happen,” said Pittman. “In a way, this is their chance to ‘pay it forward.’ They want to give back to a university and an athletic program that contributed to the men they are today.”
By Breanne Goodrum