Ready to play

Vance-Granville Foundation executive director Eddie Ferguson (right) stands with Gupton Services Inc. owner Greg Etheridge, whose company will serve as a presenting sponsor for the foundation’s annual golf tournament at the Henderson Country Club on Monday and Tuesday.

HENDERSON — For the 37th year, Vance-Granville Community College will host its annual Foundation Golf Tournament, which is set to take place at the Henderson Country Club on Monday and Tuesday.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the college to hold the tournament in September last year, but Vance-Granville Foundation executive director Eddie Ferguson is excited to get everything back on schedule for what he hopes is a more normal year.

“Traditionally our golf tournaments have been in May,” Ferguson said. “A lot of these tournaments are held in the spring time frame, so having this tournament in May helps us set everything up for the rest of the year.”

Ferguson said that within the past year, the Vance-Granville Foundation has used events like the golf tournament to raise $1.2 million for the school to support scholarships for students and other initiatives.

With the golf tournament, Ferguson said that a main factor that has helped the event raise so much money for Vance-Granville is partnerships with sponsors like Gupton Services Inc., which is serving as the presenting sponsor for the second straight year.

Among the other sponsors that have signed on for this year’s tournament include premier partners like M.R. Williams, Certainteed and Carolina Commonwealth, along with other companies like First Citizens Wealth, which is the official lunch sponsor of the event.

Charles Boyd Chevrolet Buick GMC is also taking part and will award a car to anyone who makes a hole-in-one on the ninth hole. Along with trophies for first net, second net and first gross, awards will be given to those who have the longest drive and get the ball closest to the pin.

Ferguson said that it’s imperative that students have the resources necessary to overcome their financial barriers, which he said has taken on more importance following the pandemic.

“Many of our students lost their jobs or their hours have been cut back,” Ferguson said. “We’ve gotten over $132,000 in pledges from our golfers, which is an all-time record for the college. I think that’s a testament to the businesses and individuals recognizing those needs.”

Even with the pandemic still being a concern, Ferguson said that he is grateful the Henderson Country Club and so many different organizations continue to support Vance-Granville and the Foundation Golf Tournament and hopes that these partnerships continue for a long time.

While there will be some procedural changes that adhere to social-distancing guidelines during the 2021 edition of the tournament, Ferguson does not envision any major changes coming to the event but did not rule anything out.

“Historically, we would all congregate and have a shotgun start,” Ferguson said. “We modified that and we’ll continue to consider other modifications in the future. We might consider expanding to another afternoon if there is additional interest, but I’m pretty satisfied with the format we have today.”

The cost to enter the Vance-Granville Foundation Golf Tournament will be $150 per person. Each round of the tournament is set to start at noon.