During Ric Mason’s service with the United Way, which ended with his death during a mission trip in Honduras Feb. 6, 2007, his philanthropic efforts inspired supporters of the nonprofit, propelling them to rename the annual golf tournament in his honor.
“We just appreciate that the golf tournament is in his memory and it keeps his memory alive,” said Mason’s wife of 30 years, Marsha. “... He loved to play golf whenever he got the chance, so we just appreciate the United Way honoring him that way.
“... He really believed in the United Way [and] the agencies that they helped. He was [on the board of directors], so he really believed in the things that they did for the community. He was all about helping the community in any way possible.”
Set for May 5, the Ric Mason Memorial Golf Tournament currently is registering golfers to play at Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville. The four-player scramble tees off at 9 a.m., following an 8 a.m. registration.
“Ric was a board member for United Way of Bartow County for several years and was a board member at the time that he passed on,” said Brenda Morehouse, president of the United Way of Bartow County. “He was really important to our organization not just because of what he did with us as a board member but just helping to fundraise and get the word out about our agencies and the things that we do.
“I was working for Publix when I met Ric and Ric is the very reason why I applied to work at United Way. ... I would not be at United Way of Bartow County if it wasn’t for Ric Mason. He had gone from retail into nonprofit. At the time, I was an associate on loan and the president of United Way had quit. I was really liking what I was doing with them and thought, ‘... I’d really like making this a career’ and ended up sitting down and talking with Ric and ended up applying for the job. ... [We] did a lot of motivational seminars together [and] he was such a good motivator. He was somebody that got people pumped up and excited and gave us that drive that we always needed to be successful.”
Proceeds from the May 5 tournament will benefit United Way’s 15 agencies: AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Girl Scouts Division of Bartow County and Advocates for Children. Combined, the nonprofits serve more than 60,000 people each year.
Large sponsorships for the golf tournament still are available, and those interested also can sign up as a single player for $125. While participants can register the day of the tournament, people are encouraged to sign up early.
For more information or to register in advance, call 770-386-1677 or visit www.bartowliveunited.org.