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The University of Alabama

Golf Tournament Fundraiser Benefits UA’s RISE School

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Gene Stallings Golf Tournament benefiting The University of Alabama’s RISE School will be held April 25 and 26 at the Ol’ Colony Golf Complex.

The tournament is a four-person scramble (handicaps required) with tee times at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both days and shotgun starts.

“This is the biggest fundraiser for the school,” said Martha Cook, RISE director. “We have a goal of $300,000. That money pays to keep a classroom open throughout the year, including staff, equipment, supplies, everything it takes to run a class for a year.”

The RISE program, a part of the UA College of Human Environmental Sciences, serves children with disabilities and their typically developing peers, from ages 8 weeks to 5 years. The children are divided by age among six classes, each with 16 students, one teacher and three assistants. The school’s mission is the same as the University’s — teaching, service and research. The integrated preschool program not only benefits families in the community, it serves as a practicum and internship site for students from UA and other colleges.

“All preschool programs teach social skills, academics, etc., but we’re the only place that can teach character traits such as caring, kindness and thoughtfulness,” Cook said. “The children without disabilities have grown up with tolerance for individuals who are different, and the children with disabilities leave with self confidence, knowing they are part of a group from the ‘normal world’ and they can function and succeed in that world.

“That’s what makes RISE unique. It’s not anything you can teach. Children don’t count chromosomes, they’re just friends,” she added.

The program is not an inexpensive one, and while it does receive funding from the University, the state and an endowment, fundraisers like the golf tournament are crucial to the school’s success.

Registration for the golf tournament starts at $2,500 for a four-person team. Morning and afternoon prizes will be awarded to the top four teams with the best gross and net scores. Golfers will also receive deluxe Swiss Army watches and other gifts upon check-in. Lunch will be provided by Wintzell’s Oyster House and the Pigg Shack to all golfers from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. George F. Landegger is this year’s corporate sponsor.

Stallings will be at one hole and will play with each team. Team photographs with Stallings will also be provided. UA’s Nick Saban and others affiliated with the football program are also scheduled to be in attendance.

No teams will be allowed to play with less than four members. For more information, or to register, contact RISE at 205/348-7931.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.