When golfers gather at Sealy’s River Ridge Golf Course on Saturday, April 8, they will be part of a two-decades-old tradition of community leaders supporting SBISD’s 35,000 students. It’s a tradition that’s possible because of dedicated volunteers who have a heart for education.
This is year 21 for Spring Branch Education Foundation’s Golf Classic. Volunteers extraordinaire, hosts and co-chairs Mike Baker and Jay Sartain have great expectations. They’re looking for wonderful weather, great fun and a sold-out event.
Golf has been a life-long passion for Mike Baker. A golfer since 5th grade, he has searched out opportunities to play in tournaments since he moved to Houston more than a few years ago. He started playing in the SBEF Golf Classic about seven years back to support the school district that educated his children and the Foundation where his wife, Jennie, serves as a board member.
“Through Jennie, I’ve learned so much more about what SBEF does for SBISD’s students and teachers,” he says. “While we all pay our property taxes, much of what we pay is redistributed to other school districts in Texas. SBEF helps fill some of the funding gaps through fundraising events, with the objective of enhancing our students’ education and preparing them for life after high school. The annual golf tournament is one of the Foundation’s largest fundraisers, and that’s why I chose to co-chair it this year.”
Another volunteer, Debra Aitken, is not a golfer. She has, however, served on the SBEF board for 15 years for one simple reason: “I like giving back to my community. Strong schools make stronger communities. And I appreciate that SBISD prepared my children for success at UT Austin, Texas A&M and the MBA program at OU.
“At the golf tournament, we have fun, raise money and reach an audience who may or may not have children in our district. With 36 teams, we reach 144 men and women who clearly care about education and the Foundation’s mission of making our schools better for students and teachers.”
“The Golf Classic continues to grow,” says Cece Thompson, SBEF executive director. “It’s a popular tournament because golfers appreciate that the money goes for scholarships and campus grants. Everyone enjoys the day.”
The tournament is a four-player team scramble and includes a raffle, mulligans, a sponsored drive for scholarships and contests for putting, longest drive and closest to the hole. Breakfast and lunch are included. Team and individual registration is open through Tuesday, April 4: teams, $2,000; individuals, $500. Register online here >>
Call the SBEF office, 713-251-2381, for more information.
Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott, LLP has signed on as the tournament’s Eagle Clubhouse sponsor. Also teeing up as sponsors are Phillips 66; Group 1 Automotive; MetroNational; Stantec Architecture, Inc.; and PBK Architects, Inc. Other sponsorships are available.
In addition to Aitken, co-chairs Baker and Sartain have tapped community members to serve on the SBEF Golf Classic committee: Doug Goodson, Scooter Hicks, Kamden Kanaly, George Kurisky, Warren Matthews, Roy Montalbano, Paul Moreton, Ted Nowak, Ron Nunley, Lisa Schwartz, Debbie Slack, Warren Sloan, Rob Stewart and Cece Thompson.
About Spring Branch Education Foundation:
Spring Branch Education Foundation is committed to supporting SBISD students and educators. It partners with the district and community to fund programs that enhance education and ̅students for the future. In 2016, Caruthers Institute ranked SBEF 42nd in the nation among 188 K-12 education foundations and in the top 10 of its division of foundations with $1 million to $1,999,999 in revenues. Since 1993, the Foundation has donated more than $10 million to the district. SBEF is a 501(c)3 organization; all donations are tax deductible.