This year, the keynote speaker for the luncheon will be former Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer, who led the Volunteers to a national championship in 1998.
Proceeds from the tournament will go to help provide scholarships for students of the post-secondary day program which provides an environment that promotes maximum educational, physical, social and spiritual growth to high-functioning adults with intellectual disabilities.
The pretournament Luncheon is $35 and will begin at 11:45 April 22 at Cleveland Country Club. Reservations may be made by calling the school at 423-479-7130. Seating for the luncheon is limited. A field of 31 teams will take to the links following the luncheon.
“We will have a student lead off the tournament then our students will participate in a tennis clinic with Tony Cavett for the afternoon,” said Trousdale Executive Director Shannon Clark.
The luncheon and following golf tournament brought in more than $40,000 last year and Clark hopes to meet or exceed the total in 2013.
“My anticipation is we will be somewhere similar to that this year. We are going to have some auction items there as well,” she said. “That money, plus what we have from the luncheon will support our scholarships and 85 percent of our students are on some form of scholarship. Every student pays tuition to come to Trousdale. We are not federally or state funded. The proceeds from the entire event will help support the scholarships.”
Fulmer is not the first big-name personality to pitch in for the good cause. Bob Johnson, the first player ever drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, and a former teammate of Fulmer at UT, helped procure the coach. But the support for Trousdale reaches far beyond a single individual.
“He and our founder, Tom Johnson, played ball together at UT,” Clark explained. “But, Brenda Lawson has been a huge help with that as well. She is very supportive. She is our platinum sponsor for the tournament.”
Other speakers brought to Cleveland by Trousdale include Tom Johnson, brother of Bob Johnson and former star football player at UT, Steve Sloan, Pat Summit, Bruce Pearl and men’s and women’s athletic directors from the University of Tennessee.
“We’ve had a great assortment of folks participate and help us with the tournament,” said Clark.