Golf event honoring late mayor set for Thursday

For the Record
Posted 9/14/21

After more than a year hiatus thanks to COVID-19, the General William C. Lee Golf Classic is back and will honor former Dunn Mayor Oscar N. Harris.

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Golf event honoring late mayor set for Thursday

Posted

ERWIN — After more than a year hiatus thanks to COVID-19, the General William C. Lee Golf Classic is back.

This year, the event is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16, at Chicora Country Club and will be in memory of Oscar N. Harris, former Dunn mayor and state senator.

Harris was a faithful member of the club and his death last February was sharply felt by fellow club members.

The golf tournament is hosted by the Dunn Rotary Club, and this is the 33rd time it has been held.

Lunch is at 11 a.m. and tee time is at noon.

The golf tournament is a key fundraiser for the club, which uses the proceeds, among other services, to fund scholarships. For the last two years, six scholarships were awarded each year.

According to Rotarian Charles Carpenter, co-chair of the golf tournament committee, it was important that the club keep giving even though its fundraisers had stopped. Because the club had reserve funds it could accomplish that.

Pat Godwin Sr. is the main sponsor of the event and Carpenter said he approached the Dunn businessman because the two were longtime friends.

Bother Carpenter and Godwin couldn’t stress enough how important Harris was to the club.

“Oscar was the main instigator in the growth of the club. He could reach people, get them committed and keep them involved. He was the best giver I have ever seen,” Carpenter said.

“He meant a lot to that club,” Godwin said. “He was a mover and a shaker. He had a lot of input on a weekly basis.”

Carpenter pointed out that it was Harris and Godwin each year who bought 120 plates at the Dunn Rotary’s pancake supper fundraiser to send to Falcon Children’s Home, plus 40 more tickets each.

If Harris was the club’s top recruiter, Carpenter was the club’s top fundraiser, being involved in the golf tournament and pancake supper since their inceptions. Carpenter joined the club in 1970.

Also, it is appropriate the General Lee tournament is held in Harris’ honor as he was a president of the General William C. Lee Memorial Commission. Lee was a Dunn native and was considered father of the American airborne.

In the beginning, the golf tournament turned over 50% of its proceeds to the commission until the commission was able to bank $500,000, Carpenter said.

Normally, the tournament is held on the Thursday closest to the anniversary of the D-Day Invasion in June. Lee’s paratroopers played a critical role in the World War II D-Day Invasion.

Last year it was delayed until September, then further delayed until this summer before ultimately being slated for Thursday.

Carpenter said folks can still sign up to play in the four-person superball tournament and donations are most welcome. See a member of the golf tournament committee, which includes Carpenter’s son Trent, Robert McLamb, Larry Snipes, Steven Neuschafer, John Riley and Robbie Misplay.

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