• 66°

Embarq joins as Tee Sea Classic title sponsor

WINDSOR – Fourteen years have come and gone since a group of Windsor firemen decided to assemble a simple golf tournament in order to generate much-needed funds.

Those humble beginnings gave birth to an event that now includes much more than chasing a little white ball around a golf course.

Even though the annual Tee & Sea Classic is more than two months away, that didn’t stop members of the Windsor Fire Department from kicking off the 14th annual event in grand fashion last week at the Cashie Country Club. There, Windsor Fire Chief Billy Smithwick made a major announcement concerning corporate affiliation as Embarq has joined the Classic as its presenting sponsor.

“We are thrilled to have Embarq join us,” Smithwick said in reference to the local telephone, wireless and Internet provider. “We are equally thrilled to have all our fine corporate sponsors that make this event successful. We thank Action Auto, Cellular Warehouse, Coastal Beverage and Bertie Ambulance Service for their sponsorship.”

With many local Embarq employees in attendance, the company’s Public Affairs Manager, Eddie Lynch, said his firm’s sponsorship was a perfect match.

“We’re proud to partner with the Windsor Fire Department as well as the other sponsors to bring you the Tee & Sea Classic,” Lynch said. “This is a worthwhile project that brings people together for a good time. It’s also good for us as a company to place our new name more in the public eye.”

As is tradition, the Tee & Sea Classic will be held the Thursday and Friday prior to Mother’s Day. Those dates this year are May 10-11. All events are scheduled for Cashie Country Club.

“We started this as a simple, one day golf tournament with 13-to-14 teams,” Smithwick said. “Now it’s a two-day event full of food, fun, sun and fellowship. We believe it’s the premier event in the northeastern part of the state.”

This year’s Tee & Sea Classic begins May 10 with the Duffer’s Golf Tournament sponsored by Action Auto and Cellular Warehouse. Designed for golfers with a 10-plus handicap, the Duffer’s tourney carries a $300 entry fee per foursome. Those wishing to enter are urged to contact Smithwick at 794-3437 as soon as possible due to the popularity of the event.

“Ken Younger Night” completes the May 10 festivities. Named in honor of a late supporter of the Windsor Fire Department and sponsored by Bertie Ambulance Service, this event is open free of charge to the public. It features a live and silent auction as well as a reverse raffle where one person will walk away with the top prize of $5,000.

“Thursday night is free, you don’t have to spend one dime if you don’t want to,” Smithwick said. “This event is not just all about raising money. It’s about exposing our area of the state to others.”

Smithwick said there are only 200 tickets, priced at $100 each, for the reverse raffle. The total payout is $7,500.

Also on-tap for May 10 is a display of work by the Bertie Arts Council.

Friday, May 11 is the busiest day of the Classic. A golf tournament, with morning and afternoon tee times, is scheduled. Lunch will be served in-between the rounds. Prices range from $400 per foursome (golf, mulligans and four tickets to a seafood buffet), to $750 (golf, mulligans and 14 buffet tickets with corporate privileges that includes private dining and bar). Call Smithwick at 794-3437 to enter.

The five corporate sponsors of the event will set-up hospitality tents on the course. There, Bertie Ambulance Service will be stationed at hole #1; Embarq at #3; Action Auto at #5; Cellular Warehouse at #7 and Coastal Beverage at #9.

There is a non-golfing package priced at $500. This includes 14 buffet tickets with private dining in the corporate area with bar privileges.

Later in the afternoon of May 11 is the popular all-you-can-eat seafood buffet followed by a dance featuring the Band of Oz. Tickets for both events are priced at $25 per person and are available in advance at the Windsor Fire Department.

Smithwick pointed out that due to the large crowd that attends the seafood buffet, the seating area will be expanded from 400 to 600.

Also new this year will be a dance floor set-up in front of the band on the grounds of Cashie Country Club.

As was the case of a February kick-off for a May event, it’s never too early to start making plans to attend and participate in the 14th Tee & Sea Classic.