By Mary Katherine Ishee
Special to the Rappahannock News
While golf may not necessarily be everybody’s passion, a golf tournament — particularly one that supports seniors and promotes local business — should be. At least that’s how Sharon Pierce, president of Rapp at Home, sees it.
“Our ‘Home in One’ tournament supports county businesses, and provides an opportunity for our local donors to get their names out there,” says Pierce of the organization’s charity golf tournament to be held May 31 at the Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course in Sperryville. “Collaborating with other county organizations is an important goal for Rapp at Home. But mostly? We just want it to be fun.”
Creating active, enjoyable activities are another serious goal for Rapp at Home, given that social isolation is directly linked to increased mental and physical health problems as people age. Now in its fourth year, Rapp at Home is the County’s “senior village.” Built on the concept of neighbors helping neighbors, it promotes services and strategies to help those over 50 live safely and independently in their own homes. The organization addresses social, transportation and in-home needs, tailored to Rappahannock’s rural, retirement-heavy community, where almost 50 percent of the population is over the age of 55, one of the highest percentages in Virginia.
Audrey Regnery played in the tournament last year and liked it so much she agreed to chair this year’s organizing committee.
“It’s the kind of event that brings everyone together,” she says. “It supports our senior population and it gives everyone the chance to do your part for the community, beyond just playing golf.”
Pierce believes this is a win-win for Rapp at Home and the businesses that support the event. Cliff Miller IV, co-owner and operator of the Schoolhouse Nine course and Headmaster’s Pub, agrees. Miller says he is “thrilled” to be hosting the tournament for the third year in a row. “The golf course was intended to be a place where all ages and skill levels could enjoy the benefits of a game close to my heart,” Miller says. “Seeing the fellowship and smiles of the participants and knowing that we are raising money for a valuable cause is very satisfying.”
This year’s tournament will allow golfers the option of playing either 9 or 18 holes, with tee off times in both the morning and afternoon. There will be prizes for winning scores, as well as an impressive array of raffle items donated by local businesses.
According to Regnery, there will be several “Wine/Dine/Stay” raffle combinations with meals and overnight stays at local establishments; greens fees to local golf courses; and unique golf-related and other items. Raffle tickets will be open to purchase by anyone in the community, with the winning tickets to be drawn at the awards ceremony to be held at Headmasters following the afternoon session (winners need not be present). Tickets will be on sale at the course the day of the tournament, and in advance of the tournament at: Rapp at Home’s office; Headmasters and The Corner Store in Sperryville; the Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill; and Quievremont Winery, the Country Café and Tulas in Little Washington.
For more information on golfing or being a sponsor of the tournament, and on raffle items and purchasing raffle tickets, go to www.rappathome.org or call the Rapp at Home office at 540-937-4663.
Pierce encourages all to come out and enjoy watching the tournament. “The fundraising side of this is important to us, and we are very grateful to our underwriter, Union Bank, and the generous sponsors who are contributing to the event,” says Pierce. “But we hope people will show up just for the fun of it. Even if you don’t golf,” she says, “just come hang out and socialize!”
Says Regnery, “this is about the community. We all love this community — no matter what your age, no matter what you do, we all love it here. We have enough things that pull people apart. It’s important to have things like this that pull us together.”