Weather No Match for Kool Kappas
TAMPA – Despite the temperatures never reaching 50 degrees, it didn’t stop the warm hospitality and camaraderie of those who participated in the Kappa Alpha Psi Tampa Alumni Chapter Guide Right Foundation 18th annual Golf Tournament held Saturday at historic Rogers Park.
The annual event is one of the major fundraisers for the foundation and its Kappa League program. “This event is huge for Kappa Alpha Psi, the Guide Right Foundation and especially for our Kappa Leaguers,” said Tampa Alumni Chapter Polemarch Fred Dudley. “It allow us to fund the activities for the youth, help mentor these young men, teach them leadership and go through leadership development. Without these type of events, we wouldn’t be able to help these youth and help these young men grow and develop.”
This was the remake date from the original event that was postponed due to rain in November. The event was not held in 2019 because of Covid.
But not rain, nor wind, nor Covid was going to hold this tournament back. And while the weather was a bit colder and windier than normal, the participants from the Tampa Bay area as well as from as far as St. Louis and Charlotte, said the event was well worth it.
The winning team was the threesome of Parnell Dickinson, Bert Gaston, and Will Rowe who won on a tiebreaker over the team of Dr. James Brookins, Dwight Ford, Rufus Lewis and Terry Dewdney.
Both teams scored 58 in the scramble. The tiebreak was the lowest score on the top handicapped hole. The team of Clinton Paris, Tim Adams, Tim Carr and Jay McNair finished third with a score of 62.
“I was going to cancel because it was so cold,” Gaston said. ”And it was tough the first nine holes. I am glad I came. There’s nothing like getting together with a bunch of brothers in a social event. It was good brotherhood.”
Dickinson was a two-time winner as he also won the men’s longest drive trophy. Tricia Clark won the women’s long drive. Ford took home men’s closest to the pin, while Verbena McIlwaine won the women’s honors. “I came down to the PGA show this year and decided to make a whole week out of it,” said McIlwaine, who lives in Charlotte. “Other than the wind, it was fantastic. I will absolutely consider coming back.”
With members of the Kappa League in attendance, they told their tales of what the program means to them. “We have several kids out here we mentor year round,” said Foundation Chairman Dr. Brookins. “And when they leave and go to college, we give them scholarships. This was a great affair.”
With the DJ spinning tunes in the clubhouse after the event, golf tournament committee chairman Pete Peterson was all smiles.
“We had a much bigger turnout than I expected,” Peterson said. “I think it started out at 45 with the wind factor in the 30s. For most of us, that means sleep in but the young Kappa Leaguers did a fantastic job sharing their experiences. This was great.”