Associate Professor Hal Walker’s Event Management service-learning class coordinated a two-day golf fundraiser in November to benefit the Liberty-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality therapy services.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, the love of sports is an undeniable force. This proved true in the Event Management course taught this fall by Hal Walker, associate professor of sport management. The service-learning class planned and managed golf fundraising events for Kopper Top Life Learning Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization that specializes in using therapeutic horseback riding, recreational therapy, animal-assisted therapy and horticulture therapy for individuals with or without disabilities.
The class faced the daunting task of planning a public event during a worldwide pandemic. Problems arose such as group gathering restrictions, quarantining, social distancing and other related obstacles. Walker and the students decided that a golf tournament presented a unique opportunity to have an event that complied with COVID-19 restrictions.
The class divided its fundraising campaign – titled Fore The Animals – into two events, kicking off with a driving range competition on Nov. 5 at the Elon University driving range. Two days later, the students hosted the Kopper Top Charity Golf Tournament, teeing off at The Challenge Golf Club in Graham.
At the first outing, participants competed in three events to win gift cards to various area restaurants and shops. The competitions included a longest drive contest, where participant attempts were tracked by a shot tracer, and a chipping contest that required guests to hit a ball into a net that was placed 60 yards away. Mike Brown, a sophomore Communications Fellow, was the only participant to successfully hit the net.
Afterward, the class hosted a putting contest designed by Adel Vadkerti, a member of the class as well as the university’s women’s golf team.
Nearly 80 golfers turned out for the class’ charity tournament that featured a scrambled format. Golfers competed in foursomes in hopes of winning free golf rounds at The Challenge Golf Club, as well as gift cards to local restaurants and shops. Additionally, there were longest drive and closest-to-the-pin competitions.
Walker and the class offered a special thanks to Deborah Meridith, executive director at Kopper Top Life Learning Center, for her assistance and the volunteers and participants who supported the fundraising events. In total, the Event Management class raised more than $4,500 for Kopper Top.
The following is a list of event and tournament sponsors:
Commercial 1 Plumbing
Don Pablo // Burke Brands
Gateway Research Park
Green Stripes Lawn Care
Kernodle Center for Civic Life – Elon University
Bojangles – Whitsett
Costco 361 – Winston-Salem
Foothills Brewing Company
Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau
Kim Gromko (in honor of kids with autism and epilepsy)
Marsh Kitchen & Bath
Ten Thirty Nine Salon
Bojangles – Burlington
Chick-Fil-A – Burlington
Play It Again Sports
R & H Produce
Wendy’s – Burlington
Wendy’s – McLeansville
Student Will Goldy contributed to this release.