Money from group’s 1st golf tourney goes to youth sports fields


The Belmont Optimist Club raised $1,700 with its first golf tournament on June 23 at Linwood Springs Golf Course.

Thirteen teams participated in the captain’s choice tournament, which benefited the club’s new youth football and baseball fields at Duke Energy’s Allen Steam Station.

Community sponsors were: Catawba Grill, Ceres Transportation Group, Diversified Printing Techniques, Grahams Fish Camp, Mid Carolina Cardiology, NAPA, Patrick Yarns, RBC Centura Bank, R.J. Gators and Rollins Insurance.

“We’re trying to raise up to $50,000 through several fundraisers we’ve planned for the year,” said tournament coordinator Jeani Reagan. “There’s an enormous cost associated with the establishment of these fields.”

Duke Energy owns the land where the fields are under construction at the Allen Steam Station. The Optimist Club will develop the property for its youth sports programs by installing lights, bleachers and fields.

“We’ve cleared the land and had it marked for two football fields and two baseball fields,” says Reagan. “We’ve just finished the lighting, which is the major expense. We’ve also seeded the fields, and we’re letting them grow to get ready for next year. We hope to start using the fields by next baseball season.”

Currently, Belmont Optimist teams play football at South Point High School and Holbrook Middle School. Baseball teams have played at various city-owned fields in Belmont and one existing field at the new athletic site.

The club sponsors five football teams, five cheerleading squads, four baseball teams, a girls’ softball program and a high school oratorical contest for local youth. Most kids involved in the Optimist Club’s athletic programs are ages 5 to 12 and live in Belmont.

“Duke is pretty involved in our community, and they understood the need we had with more than 350 children participating in various programs,” says Reagan. “It was vital that we had a place for them to play.”

In addition to the golf tournament, Belmont Optimist plans a raffle with cash prizes during the current football season and a 5K race later this fall.

Raffle tickets are $5 each. First prize is $500, followed by $300 for second prize and $100 for third prize. The drawing will be held during the first home game in September.

Each of the approximately 250 football players and cheerleaders have been encouraged to sell at least five tickets by Sept. 6. Prizes will be awarded to the top sellers.

The Winners

Here are the winners in the Belmont Optimist Club Golf Tournament:

First place: Josh Fortenberry, Jarrod Gibson, Tony Gibson, T.J. Hudson.

Second place: Ricky Rowe, Chris Auten, Randy Crainshaw, Johnny Blackburn.

Third place: Hunter Armstrong, Kirk Crawford, Michael Gulledge, Keith Moses.

Longest drive: Rodney Allman.

Hole-in-one: Ricky Rowe.

Double eagle: Kelvin Reagan.

Closest to the pin: Mark Crunkleton and Tom Beaghen.

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Way to go Optimist Club ! The land down Boat Club Road has long been used by the Optimist Club over the years for baseball. It is good to see a resurgence of interest and focus on positive development.

The Optimist’s had a really cool Oyster Roast several years ago. We are sure it was time-consuming, but it was a great fundraiser.

Speaking of fundraisers, The Belmont Rotary Club had a unique theme at “A Taste of Belmont” last spring, the Roaring Twenties. The costumes looked great… the Rotary produced a fundraiser for several years aways back, called, “Rotaters”,  french-fries. Were sold at the HS football games. They made good money until the SPHS Booster Club felt that they were cutting into the Booster Club profits. Rotary sold them at the Garibaldi-fest a few years too.

Their fundraising money went into the Stowe Park restroom facility and to the Belmont Rotary Baseball Team.