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The 2nd Annual St. Andrew Open Golf Tournament: Supporting Scholarships for High School Seniors and Seminary Students

By Elizabeth Lenart | Contributor

St. Andrew United Methodist Church invites the community to support promising high school seniors with dreams of higher education as well as aspiring seminary students by sponsoring or playing in the second annual St. Andrew Open Golf Tournament, Monday, May 10, with tee times beginning at 8:30 a.m., at The Clubs of Prestonwood, Creeks Course, 15909 Preston Road, Dallas. Proceeds from The St. Andrew Open support both St. Andrew scholarship programs. This year’s tournament will feature a Porsche Macan, sponsored by Plano Porsche, as a hole-in-one prize.

“Last October, due to the pandemic, St. Andrew combined its spring and fall golf tournaments, and the community came together in a powerful way, raising a net total of $45,920,” said Jimmy Decker, associate pastor, connectional ministries, St. Andrew UMC. “With a record number of golfers, increased participation in raffles and donations, and an overall sense of enjoyment by all, we were inspired to make this successful tournament the new tradition at St. Andrew. The tournament will be held in May with proceeds benefiting the Messenger of Hope Scholarship Fund for high school seniors and the Charles Stokes Seminary Education Scholarship Fund for students interested in pursuing a life in ministry. Without question, this will be a critical fundraising year as many families have suffered heavy losses during the pandemic.”

St. Andrew first began the Messenger of Hope Tournament in 2000 and the Charles Stokes Tournament in 2012 to benefit the two scholarship funds.

The Messenger of Hope Scholarship Fund, presented by The United Methodist Men of St. Andrew, provides funding and mentorship programming for dozens of deserving students each year. Last year, this fund, which annually receives funding from the tournament and additional resources, provided a total of $85,000 in scholarships to 52 high school seniors, representing eight different area high schools: Frisco, J.J. Pearce, Lake Highlands, Plano East, Plano Senior, Richardson, R.L. Turner, and Woodrow Wilson. Scholarship recipients attended 25 different colleges including Arkansas Community College, Baylor University, Brookhaven College, Collin College, Howard University, Midwestern State, Richland Community College, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Tarleton State University, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas State, Texas Wesleyan, Texas Woman’s University, Tuskegee University, University of Arkansas, University of Houston, University of North Texas, University of Oklahoma, University of Texas, University of Texas at Arlington, University of Texas at Dallas, and University of Texas at Tyler. 

“The average tuition cost of each class at area community colleges is $500 so it’s easy to understand how this tournament can make an impact,” said Ray Adams, Messenger of Hope Scholarship Founder. “Too often, students earn good grades and have a true desire for a higher education, but family disruption, health issues or situations beyond their control make college a financial impossibility. In looking at the effects of the pandemic, this funding will be more critical than ever.”

Each year, through a partnership with the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, the Charles Stokes Seminary Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to qualified applicants who show gifts for a promising future in church leadership. In 2020, the fund was able to offer $15,000 scholarships to three seminary students. This scholarship fund was established by retired St. Andrew Pastor Charles Stokes and his wife Louise. The couple saw the tremendous need for new pastors, and this scholarship enables those with a drive and passion to serve in the ministry to attend seminary. Coupled with this scholarship, St. Andrew staff members mentor these students over three years to help develop them into future leaders of the United Methodist Church. 

“It is our belief that by affirming these men and women and supporting them both spiritually and financially, we can continue the mission of the church by ensuring strong leadership for the future,” said David Keene, Charles Stokes Seminary Education Scholarship Founder. “In the last eight years, we have provided over $137,000 in scholarship funds for seminary students, including some of the current pastors at St. Andrew, including Jimmy Decker, who helps lead this important fundraising effort.”

“Please join us on May 10, and together, let’s make the dreams of many area students come true.”
David Keene, Charles Stokes Seminary Education Scholarship Founder

The winner of the hole-in-one contest is wholly responsible for any and all taxes and fees associated with or arising from acceptance of the car. This includes any sales tax, prize taxes or registration and licensing fees. St Andrew United Methodist Church, The Clubs of Prestonwood and Porsche of Plano are not responsible in any way for said taxes and fees.

To sponsor or play in The Open, visit https://www.standrewumc.org/standrewopen.

Dennis Foose, Rev. Robert Hasley, Jeff Bachus, Jim Richardson
Richard White and Ray Adams, founder of Messenger of Hope Scholarship

# # #

St. Andrew United Methodist Church began in 1986. Worship includes four services each weekend on a 21.2-acre campus located at 5801 W. Plano Parkway in Plano, Texas, where more than 2,000 people gather each weekend. Recent renovation allows the Sanctuary to host worship in both Traditional style, with the classic pipe organ, and Contemporary style, with a new LED center screen and lighting technology. Small groups and Bible studies gather on campus and throughout the region every day of the week. Mission opportunities serve the local area, neighboring regions, and global communities. St. Andrew United Methodist Church is located at 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093. Visit www.standrewumc.org; call 972-380-8001.

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