Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tourney Honors Coach, Helps FBHS

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tourney Honors Coach, Helps FBHS

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVIN TURNER

FERNANDINA BEACH -- The second Erk Russell Golf Tournament, which gets under way Thursday, will commemorate a Georgia football legend and benefit a local school.

Aside from paying tribute to the celebrated Georgia Southern head coach and University of Georgia defensive coach, the tournament will raise funds to foster academic excellence at Fernandina Beach High School.

Tournament co-organizer W. Durand Childers said 22 "scramble" teams of five are expected to compete for a night's stay, a golf session and lunch at Amelia Island's Ritz-Carlton. The tournament is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Royal Amelia Golf Club with a shotgun start.

Childers' employer, First National Bank of Nassau County, is the tournament's co-sponsor.

"On behalf of First National Bank and [co-sponsor] Spanky's, we're looking forward to the event," Childers said. "We want to grow this tournament and give back to the community through the Fernandina Beach High School Foundation."

The tournament raised about $5,000 for the foundation last year, Childers said.

"This year, we're hoping to net at least $15,000," he said.

Fernandina Beach High School Foundation member Lisa Spencer said her group is excited to benefit from the tournament.

"You can't even imagine how grateful we are for it," Spencer said. "This year, we're trying to help them out with running the tournament because we are so grateful they're donating the money to us. All the money raised will stay with the high school and will go to benefit the students at the high school."

The foundation funds "mini-grants" to pay for educational equipment, Spencer said. It also has an SAT test program and this year donated money to a fund to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina, she said.

"It's more of the academic part of the programs than anything, for honors students. …

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