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Chamber golf event still accepting sponsors

By Maria-Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

Though the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce has surpassed its sponsorship expectations, it's still accepting sponsors for the "Fourth Annual Heritage Cadillac Golf Invitational," said chamber officials.

"We are pleased that we have already exceeded projections ... [and] we have more participants and sponsors than last year, in spite of the economy," said Yulonda Beauford, president and CEO of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce.

According to Sabrina Crawford, first-vice chairperson of the chamber's 2010 Board of Directors, the golf event will occur on Sept. 21, at 11 a.m., at River Forest Golf and Country Club, at 1 Club House Drive, in Forsyth, Ga.

Crawford said, besides serving on the chamber's board, she is co-owner of Heritage Cadillac Saab in Morrow, which is the title sponsor of the event. "I think it [the event] is important [because] the chamber does so much to promote businesses in the county, and we [Heritage Cadillac Saab] thought it was important to support the chamber and all their endeavors," said Crawford.

Crawford said the event has a large number of sponsors, but is still accepting more. "We have, right now, about 50 committed sponsors," she said.

Beauford added that sponsorships have helped raise $43,000 for the event, compared to last year's contributions of $40,000. The funds raised assist the chamber in the continuation of services to the Clayton County business community, said Beauford.

According to chamber officials, sponsorship opportunities range from $50, to $3,500.

In addition, Crawford said that, as title sponsor of the event, she made a monetary donation of $5,000.

Beauford advised that, another way individuals can sponsor is by playing golf in the tournament, which is the chamber's largest fund-raising event. The cost to participate, officials said, is $1,000 per team.

Crawford added that the event will only accept 144 golfers, to avoid an overcrowded golf course. "As far as golfers go, we are almost booked up with golfers," said Crawford.

Beauford explained that there are 31 teams -- 124 players -- participating in the golf tournament. In last year's event, only 28 teams were involved, said Beauford.

Crawford said beyond sponsorship, people will network and socialize at the tournament.

Beauford added that the tournament attracts businesses from outside the county, including cities such as Macon, Marietta and Chamblee.

Lon Langston, chairperson of the chamber's golf committee, said that, in 2008, the event took place at Crystal Lake Golf and Country Club, in Hampton. Beauford said the location was changed, in 2009, to the River Forest Golf and Country Club, because the chamber wanted to meet the requests of many previous, participating golfers who wanted it there. "They [golfers] are looking for the wow factor,"said Beauford.

"River Forest is a very special course," added Langston. "It might be the nicest course designed in [metro] Atlanta, and we wanted to set the chamber golf event apart from others in Atlanta. It is definitely about having a very unique experience for the golfers."

Langston said registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., and a shotgun start will commence at 11 a.m. "People will come and register, then they will have time to look at the raffle prizes ...[and] socialize between [9:30 a.m.,] and 11 a.m.," he said.