September 20, 2005
The first African-American to play in the Masters was back on a local golf course Tuesday. Golf legend Lee Elder flew all the way from San Diego to help raise money for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. This is the largest fundraiser they’ve ever had. Elder didn’t play in the tournament, instead he rode around and help other golfers.
“I’ll ride around and play certain holes with different people wherever they tell me to go and just relax and have a nice day and hopefully raise a lot of money,” Elder said.
Over 100 people came out to the Champions Retreat Golf Course to play Tuesday. Columbia County Chamber Vice Chairman Jean Roper organized the event.
“This is the first one, hopefully many more,” Roper said.
It took the chamber leaders about two months to plan the event. Executive Director Gordon Renshaw is glad they had such a good turnout.
“We’re looking to eliminate debt as a chamber,” Renshaw said.
The golfers Tuesday will help them do that. Lee Elder is glad to help where he can.
“It was certainly a wonderful thing for them to ask me,” Elder said.
They hit their fundraising goal. The chamber brought in over $50,000, and they say they will do all this again next year.