OTTUMWA — Money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow from scholarships.
On July 27, the 13th annual Elks' scholarship golf tournament is giving students a chance to play for a chance to win scholarship money. The tournament is at the Cedar Creek Golf Course. It begins at 11 a.m. and will last until 5 p.m.
Veteran golfer Dan Gullion has been the main organizer for this tournament for 13 years. He felt called to start the Elks scholarship golf tournament because a friend encouraged him and because he saw a growing need for college scholarships.
“(For 13 years) I’ve been trying to help people ever since,” Gullion said. “I wanna make the world a better place and I can do that by helping students go to college.”
As a young man Gullion did not have a ton of money to help him go to college. He had to rely on people to help him fulfill his desire. After Gullion got the help he needed, he wanted to have a way of repaying those who helped him. “When I started college, my dad couldn’t afford to help me pay my tuition,” he said, “ I got a lot of help, so that’s why I wanted a way to repay those who helped me.”
Gullion’s dedication for helping students go to college has paid off. In 13 years, his tournaments raised a total of $100,000. With this total in mind, he encouraged more young people to play in the tournament so they can have a chance to get their hands on the scholarships worth between $7,000 and $8,000.
“We have a lot of nice people who donated money,” he said, “I donated $100 and my son donated $200. Other people on the committee have donated.”
Gullion said money isn’t the only reason more people should play in the tournament, prizes and fun are added bonuses. “Going to this tournament is a family thing,” he said, “men and women can play. We’re all doing it just for fun. There will be a ton of prizes.”
For those who feel discouraged by their golf abilities, Gullion said not to worry. “I’ll try to make sure everyone wins something,” he said, “ if you don’t win a prize, don’t worry — it’s just entertainment.”
Gullion hopes to at least have 25-four-person teams sign up and have people attend. “It takes a lot of work and organization to organize a golf tournament,” he said, “to support and raise money for scholarships. We’re looking forward to having people have fun and work to win more money. We’re gonna do it good.”