Preston Center Rotary Club Raises The Bar “Fore!” A Cause
The Preston Center Rotary Club hosted its 57th Annual Westapher Charity Golf Tournament on October 10, 2022, at the world-class Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas. A reported 144 golfers enjoyed a round of golf in support of the Youth Equipped to Succeed mission.
Golf carts took off punctually at 7:45am after golfers ate a hearty breakfast catered by the Ring of Honor Kitchen. Incentives were given to entice golfers to partake in some friendly competition; all contributing toward a good cause of course. Opportunities included a hole-in-one prize to win a brand-new Cadillac SUV on the Sewell sponsored hole, which unfortunately had no winner this year. However, many participated in the “MOOLAH!” contest, in which fellow Rotarian Ban Bywaters set up on a par-3 hole dressed in a cow suit, challenging golfers with the proposition of, win $40 if you hit the ball within 12 feet from the hole or give $20 if you don’t succeed. As golfers entered the clubhouse after the morning round, they were greeted with cheers by students from the YES Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program. The event concluded with a delicious lunch, silent auction, and raffle prizes.
In attendance was fellow Rotarian and this year’s Honorary Chair Win Padgett, a five-time board member and the 2011 president of Brook Hollow Golf Club, and one of the six founders of the Society of Hickory Golfers, a guiding force in modern hickory golf. He also served with the United States Golf Association (USGA) on the museum and archives committee since 1986, was a member of the executive committee in 1998, and served as the treasurer in the years of 2002-06.
In honor of Padgett, USGA underwrote a foursome that played in true modern hickory golf fashion: pinpoint cotton dress shirts, conservative ties, long stockings, and naturally, used wood shaft golf clubs. Burton Gilliam, actor best known for his memorable role in Blazing Saddles, also played as tribute to Padgett’s legacy.
“The turnout for this year’s tournament is remarkable,” said Bert Wells, Preston Center Rotarian, and Chairman of the Westapher. “It’s a true testament to Win and the influence he’s made on the game of golf both here in Dallas and throughout the country. We thank our tournament sponsors and the 144 golfers today for supporting such a worthy cause and the impact YES makes on so many students’ lives.”
To date, this year’s Westapher fundraising efforts have brought in a gross total of $125,913. Most of the proceeds will benefit YES positive youth development programs of Motivational Experiences, Wellness Education, Peer-to-Peer Mentoring, as well as parent programs and educator trainings.
“This is the fifth year our organization has been selected as the primary beneficiary for the Westapher,” said Dan Bailey, Founder and President of YES. “We are grateful for the Preston Center Rotary Club’s generosity and partnership in support of our mission. This donation will help fund programs for the current school year, equipping K-12th grade students to say, ‘YES!’ to their dreams and goals, and no to destructive choices like drugs and alcohol, dropping out, bullying and cyberbullying, and unhealthy relationships.”
About The Westapher Golf Charity Tournament
In 1965, C.V. Westapher, a longtime associate priest at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, and some church members played a game of golf to get better acquainted. At dinner following the round, they “passed the hat” and donated to charity. The ensuing tradition of fun, fellowship and giving has yielded hundreds of thousands of dollars for local worthy causes. Preston Center Rotary Club has hosted the tournament since Father Westapher stepped down, and the tournament is one of the longest running charity golf events in Dallas. To learn more about the Preston Center Rotary Club or how to get involved in next year’s Westapher Charity Golf Tournament, please visit www.prestoncenterrotary.org.