CULLMAN — If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
That’s the way executives at Merchants Bank of Cullman are approaching their 19th annual charity golf tournament. Proceeds from the event, which will be Monday afternoon at TP Country Club, will go toward the same four local charities — Cullman Caring for Kids, the Good Samaritan Clinic, Hospice of Cullman County and Alabama Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches — as it did last year.
“That’s why we haven’t changed it up,” said Charlie NeSmith, the bank’s president. “We wanted to keep the majority of the money here for our local charities. It seems like the response from all of our participants has been overwhelmingly supportive of that.”
NeSmith said there are 32 teams registered for this year’s tournament, up from the 25 or so foursomes that competed in 2011.
With players paying $125 per person or $500 per team, the amount of money raised for the local charities adds up pretty fast. According to NeSmith, Merchants Bank was able to divvy up around $12,000 after last year’s tournament, a total he expects to be even bigger this time around because of the increase in participation.
Nesmith also said he’s been pleased by the number of people who contributed as hole sponsors or prize sponsors.
“We hardly ever have anybody who says, ‘No,’” he said.
The actual golf competition will be sandwiched between a lunch and banquet-style dinner. After all, NeSmith said the bank likes to give back to those who are donating money to Cullman’s local charities.
“We try to treat them well,” he said. “We try to do everything we can to recognize everyone who supports it.”
Golfers who had to endure triple-digit temperatures at last year’s tournament’s should be encouraged — but only slightly — by Monday’s forecast. The high is expected to be 90 degrees with possible late afternoon and evening thunderstorms.
‰ Rob Ketcham can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.