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African American Chamber of Commerce ready to hit the links in Jackson, Tenn.

Although none of its board members plays golf, the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce is hitting the links to hook up with golfers in West Tennessee. Although none of its board members plays golf, the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce is hitting the links to hook up with golfers in West Tennessee.

The Chamber will host its First Annual Celebrity Golf Classic on Tuesday, Sept. 13, with a 1 p.m. shotgun start at Bent Tree Golf Course, 2993 Paul Coffman Drive in Jackson. Business owners, radio and television personalities, corporate executives, community leaders and, of course, sports figures from the whole of West Tennessee are invited to participate along with chamber members and supporters.

The Hole in One prize for the tournament is the newly redesigned 2011 Chrysler 300 from Gary Mathews Auto Mall in Jackson. There will be other prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin and the $2,500 putting contest.

“We might not know much about golf, but we have committee members like Harold Nance, Dornell and Hewitt Chatman, Cary Vaughn, Trey Rabon and Bill Johnson that do,” said Clarence Boone, JMCAACC president and owner of C & L Catering and Grocery.

Boone said Florence Howard, the chamber’s executive director, has been talking about a tournament for a couple of years.

“But, she really sold us on the idea when she told us about Ted Rhodes and Bill Powell. All I can say now is one day we hope to have Tiger Woods participating in our classic.”

Born in Nashville, Rhodes was the first African-American professional golfer. Powell of Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio was the first African American to build, own and operate a golf course. Other Golf Classic committee members are Camille Shavon, Sandy Stewart, Opal Person, Marie Hill and Pierre Duventre.

The event raises funds for the chamber’s youth development program, Follow Me Into Business. Founded in 2002, the year-round program offers job skills, business basics training and community service opportunities for ages 12-18 and an eight-week summer program that provides mentoring, shadowing, internships and paid employment.

The Tournament sponsor is Nell Huntspon Flower Box. Other sponsors include Bancorp South and Manufacturers Industrial Group of Lexington. More sponsors, teams, door prizes, food donations and goodie bag items are needed.

Jackson natives and former pro standouts Ed “Too Tall” Jones (Dallas Cowboys) and Al Wilson (Denver Broncos), Elliot Perry, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Jackson Generals have been invited to participate, along with Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist, Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris and mayors from nearby cities.

The entry fee for the Celebrity Golf Classic is $75 per person. Teams should be registered by Sept. and substitutions can be made up to the day of the event.  For a registration form or for more details, call the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber at 731-424-2030 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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