On Saturday, nine teams took to the course at the Fairbury Country Club to raise funds to provide scholarships for students graduating from Fairbury Jr./Sr. High School as part of the Third Annual Brian Starck Memorial Golf Tournament.
Sharon Ebke, Fairbury School Board Member, explained that the tournament is beneficial to the community because it provides opportunities for Fairbury’s students to have brighter futures.
“Since we don’t have many big projects that we’re working on right now, we use the proceeds to provide scholarships to students,” Ebke said. “The last several years, we’ve been able to give five $1,000 scholarships to seniors. That’s our hope to fund that with the proceeds we get from this. It’s beneficial for our school and our community because it helps graduates continue their education.”
The golf tournament has been running every year for several years; however, three years ago, the name of the tournament changed in order to honor the memory of School Board Member and Fairbury Public Schools Foundation Member Brian Starck, who played a fundamental role in organizing the event.
“Originally, the foundation started the tournament when they were in the process of building the athletic complex,” said Ebke. “After that was built, and when Brian Starck was on the board, they wanted to continue having it, and he was instrumental in doing that. ”
Ebke hopes that parents encourage their students to apply for the scholarships available from the foundation. She explained that students have to write an essay and apply for the scholarship by visiting with High School Guidance Counselor Taylor Biehl.
“It is up to the students to put forth the effort to apply for the scholarships,” Ebke said. “Unfortunately, in the last few years, it seems like we haven’t had as many people apply. I encourage students to apply for this because it will help them when they apply for other scholarships. It all adds up, and every little bit helps.”
Ebke also hopes that participation in the tournament will increase in the coming years because of how much it benefits students.
“Usually we have around 18 teams in the tournament,” said Ebke. “There was a lot going on this weekend, but we’re going to keep pushing to get more participants. If anyone wants to support the foundation, I encourage them to do so, because it is for a really good cause. The more money we make, the more scholarships we can give. It just all depends on how many people get involved. It all goes to the scholarships.”
Ebke emphasized how grateful she is to local businesses that helped to sponsor the tournament and to the teams who participated. She stated that without their support, the tournament would not be possible.
“We really appreciate the teams that signed up to golf and the people and businesses who have donated in other ways,” Ebke said. “We appreciate any help we can get to support these kids.”
The golf tournament was able to raise roughly $6,000, and the foundation hopes to be able to provide up to six scholarships for Fairbury students this year.