Golf scramble a success

RUTLEDGE – A golf scramble held for Rutledge Elementary School (RES) Principal Tim Collins was considered a success. 

Grainger County Board of Education (BOE) member Johnny Brooks said a hurricane system had caused rain to be expected Saturday, August 29, the day of the event. He said organizers had questioned whether the event should be postponed, but after consulting with Clinchview Golf and Country Club owner Kelly Keck, who told him to have faith, decided to continue with the planned date. 

Brooks said he and his wife Debbie arrived at 7 a.m. the morning of the event and rain was pouring. He said the rain stopped at the beginning of the event and a double rainbow appeared. Guests gathered under a tent and prayed before beginning the first golf session. Brooks said the weather was clear for the remainder of the event and as soon as the final awards were given, the rain began again.

He said, “The good Lord watched over it and took care of the whole situation. Tim had told me, ‘You know, if God’s got a hand in it, Johnny, it’ll go good,’ and it really did.”

Brooks said 60 teams of four players participated in the tournament, with 31 playing in the morning session and 29 in the evening session. The 240 golfers were the largest group gathered for a benefit tournament in modern years, said Keck.

Brooks said the number of participants was a testament to Collins’ statement. He said it showed  what the Collins family means to the community, county, Adriel Missionary Baptist Church and Grainger County School Systems. Brooks said Collins has done a lot for the community, county and school system.

Brooks expressed his thanks to the Bean Station Senior Citizens Center for opening its building to serve meals to the golfers and community members who wanted to donate, Holts IGA for its donations and all who helped the Collins family. 

Brooks said the community outreach was humbling. He said he could not have organized the event without Eddie Jarnigan, Bean Station Mayor Ben Waller, Adriel Missionary Baptist Church Deacon Tim Seal, Modern Woodmen Financial Representative Charlie Pratt and Brooks’ wife Debbie, who was credited with the golf scramble idea. 

Keck said, “In the trying times that 2020 has been for everybody, that was certainly a bright spot and reason for hope.”

Collins expressed his thanks to the community for the help and love shared throughout his illness. He said people never know what they’ll go through in life, and he is honored the community came together to help his family. 

“I love this county, and it’s been a wonderful place to raise a family and to work and pastor and all that stuff. There’s just so many wonderful people in this county,” said Collins. 

He said he and Brooks wanted God to get the glory for the success of the event. He said the Bible verse that has helped him during his illness is Joshua chapter one, verse nine, which reads, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Collins said he has finished his last chemotherapy treatment and he is looking forward to rebuilding his health. He is hoping to hear he’s in remission at his next appointment.

All funds raised during the event went to help pay Collins’ medical bills.