Organizers reschedule Special Olympics golf benefit, call for participants

Terri Dukeminier, David Sawtell, Charlotte Bell, Deanie Forbes, Julia Fields and Marla Elmore met at the West Point Country Club to discuss a benefit golf tournament for the Special Olympics. (Donna Summerall, DTL)
Donna Summerall
Staff Writer

Special Olympics Mississippi Area Six covers special needs children in Chickasaw, Clay, Lowndes, Monroe, Oktibbeha and Webster counties.

The group raises funds to allow children to participate in local Special Olympics events and provide funding for those who advance to the state level.

Area Six is partnering with the West Point Country Club to have an inaugural golf tournament to benefit the athletes of the Special Olympics on Saturday, June 27.

"Originally the golf tournament was set for Saturday, May 16," Area 6 Director Deanie Forbes said. "We had started the planning for the event three months ago. But with COVID-19 closing area businesses and the Shelter in Place order, we had to reschedule for June 27. We honestly cannot guarantee that date either, but time will tell."

Members of Area 6, Terri Dukeminier, Charlotte Bell, Deanie Forbes, Julia Fields and Marla Elmore met at the West Point Country Club with Manager David Sawtell to iron out the details for the new date.

"We are more than happy to host the Special Olympics fundraiser," Sawtell said. "We had been planning on doing this before, but it just didn't work out. No one could have foreseen what an impact the coronavirus would have."

The tournament will be in a three-person scramble format, tee time is 8 a.m., with a 1 p.m. shotgun start.

The cost is $50 per individual and $150 per team.

"Right now we could really use some more teams to sign up to play," Sawtell said. "We have five, but we'd love to have as many teams as possible."

There will also be a silent auction. Area Six members will be calling area businesses to ask for donations. All proceeds from the auction and the tournament will be going to help area Special Olympics athletes, from all six counties, according to Forbes.

"We will also have a gun raffle," Sawtell said. "I'm going to pick up a Ruger 10/22 with a scope from Gary's Pawn and Gun to raffle. Tickets will be $10 each or six for $50. You will not have to be part of the golf tournament to come and watch, bid on silent auction items or buy tickets for the gun raffle. Everyone is welcome to come and attend."

The winner of the gun raffle must pass a background check that will be administered at Gary's Pawn and Gun, before the gun will be awarded, according to Sawtell.

"The tickets have been ordered and should be arriving by Wednesday," Sawtell said.

Area Six hopes the benefit will be successful and to continue it as an annual event.

"The plan is to have several of the area Special Olympics athletes at the benefit," Sawtell said. "We will put all of them that would like to participate in a hat and draw as many names as there are teams. Each team captain would have that athlete who's name was drawn, join with them to play."

Each participant will receive a package of three golf balls.

"We are tentatively planning to serve breakfast and lunch to the teams," Forbes said. "But that isn't set in stone, we're still working on that part, as well."

If anyone would like to donate silent auction items, they can be picked by members of Area Six.

"Any silent auction items can be dropped off at the Country Club," Forbes said. "We would love to have everything by Monday, June 22, or by Thursday, June 25 at the latest. We plan on setting up the table with the items Friday before the tournament."

For more information, contact the West Point Country Club (662) 494-3535, or after 4:30 p.m. text (662) 275-1885 or (662) 295-581. Those interested can also email