Horton golfers remain loyal friends of park

Friday, June 13, 2014
From left are Friends of Henry Horton members Ryan Jenkins, Stacey Cothran, Brad Halfacre, Teresa Dugger, Leanne Higdon, and Randy Whitworth. Photo submitted

For the last five years, the Friends of Henry Horton (FOHH) non-profit conservation group has sponsored a four-man scramble golf tournament at the Buford Ellington Golf Course inside the park and on Friday, the turnout provided the FOHH with some funds to continue their work.

"Without the support of our community in events like the Friends of Henry Horton Annual Golf Tournament, the impact we make on our amazing park would be impossible," said Park Ranger Ryan Jenkins. "The Friends of Henry Horton Annual Golf Tournament has become an opportunity for people to embrace this message and support our mission as caretakers and lovers of the park while receiving the added fun and benefits of a great day of golf."

First place

After a grueling round on the 6,604-yard layout on Friday, coming home in first place was the Chapel Hill Lions Club Team of Dean Delk, Danny Blalock, Johnny Rickman, and Noel Lewis, who came home with a slick 14-under par score of 58.

Jenkins talked about how this year's fundraiser will help the park.

"We are kicking off our Rebuild the Mill Campaign in order to raise funds to recreate the historically significant Wilhoite Mill that stood on the shores of the Duck River," said Jenkins. "Once built, it will be a museum that tells the story of the rich history of the Duck River, its mills and communities, and the park itself. It will also be used as an event space to give park visitors an eclectic and interesting place for their special occasions."

The second place slot went to a match of cards and winning the tiebreaker was the Walker Die Casting Team, consisting of Will Walker, Brian Borton, Guy Chambers, and Joe Liggett, who shot a 12-under par round of 60.

The FOHH has always supported educational programs in the community from their inception and this year is no different as they plan on expanding the Duck River 5th Grade Education Project from one school to three schools.

Many activities

The group has a busy schedule this year, highlighted by the grand re-opening of the campground that will coincide with a 5K race and a membership cookout that will feature live music and great food.

Also, the FOHH has already funded a fence-building project around the "Garden to Table" garden in the park and in addition, produce that is not used in the park restaurant will be sold in the Henry Horton State Park Farmers Market with proceeds benefiting the conservation group.

The FOHH will also be assisting in the Step Back In Time Festival in September at the park.

Second place

The tough luck loser of the second-place tiebreaker was the Waste Management Team of Stacey Cothran, Barbara Woods, Larry Godbey, and Dwight Robinson.

Guy Chambers won the Long Drive contest with a long bomb on the par-5 18th hole, while Town of Chapel Hill team member David Barnes captured both Closest to the Pin prizes on the eighth and 16th holes.

Anthony Puca won the Putting Contest, coming within an inch of sinking the left to right downhill putt on the slick Horton practice putting green.

Donations' results

The five years of donated funds have provided the organization an opportunity to complete many projects, including improvements to the park in the areas of education and environmental improvements such as a new fitness playground, a beautiful greenway trail, and the Duck River 5th Grade Education Project.

The FOHH is an integral part of the State Park system and the future is bright for the natural Tennessee environment protected by their tireless work as well as the service they provide to the community in their educational and healthy lifestyle projects.

"Henry Horton State Park is the heart of Marshall County and the success of our county will rely heavily upon the improvement of the park and interpretation of Henry Horton as a natural, historical, recreational gem, and tourist attraction," said Jenkins. "Due to the limits of funding to our park system statewide, the Friends of Henry Horton is essential to the betterment of Henry Horton State Park and our community as a whole."