Join us at the Natchez Golf Classic

Published 12:03 am Monday, April 11, 2011

By Bill Salters

If I’ve heard it said once, I’ve heard it said a hundred times — Copiah-Lincoln Community College here in Natchez is a gem of an institution. Sometimes people call it Natchez’s best-kept secret.

Well, Co-Lin is not much of a secret anymore. More and more high school and adult students are discovering what a great educational facility we have here. The Miss-Lou also is discovering not just the educational asset that Co-Lin is, but the economic benefit for our community. The campus employs about 80 full- and part-time staff and serves about 950 full- and part-time students, who have a chance to stay at home and get a great education. Furthermore, Co-Lin Natchez has an annual budget of more than $3 million, much of which is payroll. You can see the economic impact Co-Lin has had and continues to have on this area. On March 3, Co-Lin dedicated its new $4.2 million, 25,500-square-foot state-of-the-art Howell C. Garner Instructional Center.

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It’s no wonder, then that I am proud to serve on the Co-Lin Foundation Board of Directors.

That brings me to my purpose of writing to you. As a board member, I see first-hand the needs students have at our Natchez campus. Many students must have some form of assistance to better themselves and go to college. However, not all student expenses are always covered by financial aid and grants. That’s where our foundation comes in.

Each year, we give scholarships to several deserving incoming sophomores. I’ve seen the smiles on their faces as their names are called to receive the checks on awards night. We’re able to give the scholarships because of fundraisers. The biggest one for the Natchez campus is the Natchez Golf Classic now in its 11th year.

We need you to help participate in the tournament even if you don’t play golf. We need to have teams sign up to play. A corporate sponsorship for a four-person team is $550, which includes a hole sign, T-shirt for the players, along with two mulligans for each player. A player/hole sponsorship is $150, which includes a hole sign, T-shirt and two mulligans. An individual player is $100 and a hole sign sponsorship is $75. We have corporate team trophies and trophies for low gross and low net teams. We also have a new event: a ball drop. We still have some tickets left. A $50 ticket (and only 100 will be sold) gives you a chance at 20 percent of the ticket proceeds, up to $1,000. The ball drop is sponsored by the Natchez Area Chapter of the Co-Lin Alumni Association.

The tournament will be Thursday, April 28, at Beau Pré Country Club. Lunch and registration starts at 11:30 a.m. and the four-person, shotgun scramble starts at 1 p.m. A cart and range balls are provided for all players.

This is a terrific tournament, with lots of fun, food, beverages and prizes both on and off the course. Great River Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC has sponsored a hole-in-one prize: a 2011 Chevy Cruz pickup. We’ll also have closest-to-the-pin and longest drive prizes as well as some great door prizes.

I’ve heard year after year that Co-Lin puts on one of the best golf tournaments around. It’s true! I’ve played in the tournament as well as helped the friendly Co-Lin folks at registration.

So, please help. Sponsors already have signed up and players are registering already. We’d love to have you with us on that day, either in person or in sponsorship. We can e-mail you a flier or send you one. You can contact Mark LaFrancis at Co-Lin by calling 601-446-1205, or

Bill Salters, vice president of Britton & Koontz Bank, is a former president of the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Foundation Board of Directors.