18th Jackson Thornton Troy University Alumni Invitational golf tournament

Stevie Sauls pumps gives a fist pump after his team birdies the first hole of the 18th Jackson Thornton Troy University Alumni Invitational golf tournament at Highland Oaks on Thursday. Also pictured in the group are Joe Armstron, Jason Thrash and Wesley Pearce. Each year proceeds from the tournament go to fund TROY scholarships for Wiregrass area students.

The Troy-Wiregrass Alumni Association hosted its 18 th annual alumni invitational golf tournament on Thursday to raise scholarship funds for Wiregrass students.

“It brings the focus of the people who are Troy graduates in this area and allows them to pay it forward with scholarship money that’s going to allow kids to go to college and have some of their expenses deferred or cutback,” Vice President of the Troy-Wiregrass Alumni Association Billy Richards said.

More than 160 golfers, in teams of four, showed up to the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Highland Oaks hoping to be one of the top two teams in the scramble.

Preston Brooks, who is not a Troy alumnus, has competed in all 18 annual tournaments with friends and has won twice.

“I love what Troy does for the children and education in our area and it’s just a joy to be here,” Brooks, who previously owned Preston Brooks Coffee Service said. “It’s just a load of fun. It’s great fellowship, great community opportunity to be with friends and people from Troy University.”

Because of Brooks’ team and around 40 others, the alumni organization raises roughly $13,000 that’s awarded to 10 to 12 Wiregrass students, according to Troy-Wiregrass Alumni Association president and event organizer Ken Lambert.

“We want to support all things Troy in this area,” he said. “We wanted to help out students in the Wiregrass who are deserving to have an opportunity to get some extra help for tuition.”

The tournament is the biggest fundraiser the association hosts each year and has helped hundreds of students.

“Kids are able to go to school and become a productive citizen,” Richards said. “We know that it’s working and bearing lots of fruit.”

Applications go to area schools in the spring and a committee at the alumni association branch will select the winners. Scholarships awards vary from $300 to over $1,000 each.

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