CULLMAN, Ala. – As Alabama carefully reopens from the COVID-19 shutdown, golfers will have an opportunity to get outside for fresh air and fellowship, while at the same time helping multiple charitable projects of The Link of Cullman County, as the Links for Literacy 4-Man Shamble Golf Tournament comes to Terri Pines Country Club June 8. The event will be The Link’s biggest fundraiser of 2020.
Links for Literacy raises funds for all of The Link’s literacy programs, including:
- Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) – mentors who work with children individually at their local elementary schools
- After School Tutors
- Adult Literacy – ESL, GED preparation and tutoring
- Summer Enrichment for Kindergarten through sixth grade (limited to virtual and school-based programs this year)
- Kindergarten Readiness – Preparing kids for Kindergarten at five locations across the county.
- Wise Up – Ninth & 12th grade financial literacy. The program helped more than 300 students across the county in the fall of 2019.
Four-member teams can register for Links for Literacy for $750, which is tax-deductible. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the field is limited to 30 teams. Sponsorships are available at levels from $100 to $5,000, including team entries starting at $1,250.
Miss Wallace State 2020 Isabella Allred is the tournament’s celebrity sponsor and will attend the event. She has dyslexia, and made awareness of the condition her platform as a pageant contestant.
After winning in December 2019, Allred said in a video statement released by Wallace State, “What most people do not know is that one in five students have some type of learning disability, dyslexia being the number one. It can go undiagnosed for years, and I personally was. My struggle with dyslexia led my mom and me to start a support group with others who have had to overcome the same struggles. My first-hand experience inspired me to choose this kind of platform. I know how hard it is to live your whole life feeling like you are unintelligent. That is why I am so passionate about this movement. Join me in advocating for free and open testing for all students.”
Linking during the pandemic
Melissa Betts, who is coordinating team and sponsor registration for the tournament, left Cullman First United Methodist Church’s staff and joined The Link just in time for the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown in March. Almost her entire tenure has been spent responding to various community crises brought on by the shutdown.
Reflecting on this short but very active period, Betts told The Tribune, “When you walk in faith and trust with God, you don’t always have the full details. I think back to nine weeks ago. I remember postponing all the details I had set for the events, and the very next morning received a call about coordinating food pickup from the five city school sites. Those calls have not stopped. The running thread of discussion in the office is what resources have been given for the day! Daily bread for sure! We have been so blessed with food, financial support, volunteer support and unity among community including other community agencies. I hesitate to start naming these in fear of leaving someone off, but our agencies, nonprofits, farmers, businesses and industry have really worked together to take care of our county. We are so thankful to be a piece of this.
“As you know, support from donors, grants, fundraising, volunteers, etc. are vital to the success of any nonprofit. The Link has a wonderful group of individuals, businesses and churches that support it with their prayers, service, gifts and witness. But, one of the missing links was someone to build relationships in the community to sustain these resources. Speaking about the mission, writing grants, planning fundraisers and taking the vision of HOPE to those who can help bring that vision to life in our community. You see the mission of The Link is to help people grow out of poverty through encouragement, education and employability training. But, without an army of people, standing together this would be impossible. It takes our whole county to come together and see the needs, brainstorming, problem solving and using the gifts and talents we all have to bring growth.
“Oftentimes, people will say things like, ‘Just let me know what I can do and I will help,’ ‘Call me if you need me.’ My answer to these statements is always, ‘What is on your heart to do? If you will share what you are feeling lead to do, I can help you do it. I can help connect your desire to help with the need.’ Over the last nine weeks- really the last 11 years- I have had the privilege of working with some great people with HUGE hearts, and helped them do very meaningful things that impact our community in big ways. It has been a wonderful place to serve, and I look forward to what the future brings for The Link and Cullman County. I am believing for blessings: blessings for us, for our families, for our children, for their children. ‘Better together’ has been our motto the last three months!”
For more information on The Link’s literacy program, contact Literacy Coordinator Reginnia Roat at email@example.com.
For more information on the Wise Up financial literacy program, contact Director of Neighbor Relations Julie Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Links for Literacy Golf Tournament or to have someone come and speak to your church, civic group or place of business about how to partner with The Link, contact Melissa Betts at email@example.com.
At a glance
Links for Literacy 4 Man Shamble Golf Tournament
Monday, June 8, 2020 at Terri Pines Country Club.
11 a.m. lunch and registration check-in
Noon Tee time
Cost is $750 per team. The Link of Cullman County is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible.
Sponsors can register or get more information on sponsorship levels at https://bit.ly/2ATn4MW or call 256-775-0028.
Teams can register at https://bit.ly/2X0tp1D or call 256-775-0028. Due to COVID-19, the tournament is limited to 30 teams. Betts said, “We feel assured these will fill up fast!”
Payments can be mailed to:
The Link of Cullman County
708 Ninth S. SE
Cullman, AL 35055
Credit cards can also be processed by calling Melissa Betts at 256-775-0028.