In addition to raising money for programs offered by the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce, the Great Balls of Fire golf tournament serves as a way for the community to fellowship and network in a safe way.
Anna Chappelle, the chamber's development director, said COVID-19 halted all of the chamber's programs, which were sources of income for the organization. For the past several months, the chamber has been trying to figure out ways to still meet its financial goals.
"We thought the best way to do it would be to have an outdoor event," Chappelle said. "People are craving community events, so this is a good way to raise money and get people together safely to just enjoy the day."
Proceeds from the event will go toward funding chamber programs. Prior to COVID-19, the chamber hosted luncheons, new member breakfasts and provided guest speakers and networking opportunities for its members. Chappelle said the chamber hopes to resume its programs next year.
"We also help members connect with each other," Chappelle said. "If someone needs a particular service, we have a web database of businesses that they can use to help find what they're looking for. Through that database, businesses can also advertise deals and offerings."
The chamber is also helping businesses navigate through the pandemic by providing information about state and federal funding sources and tips on how to adapt their advertising techniques.
The tournament, set for Oct. 1 at the Emerald Mountain Golf Club, is open to all skill levels.
"We want everyone to just come and have a good time," Chappelle said.
There will be two opportunities for guests to participate in the tournament. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., for the morning tourney, and in the afternoon with registration at 1 p.m. and a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m.
Additional contests include prizes for the best team name, a putting contest and an accuracy and distance challenge. Players will also have a chance to win a car at the Hole-In-One contest sponsored by Collier Ford.
The registration fee is $300 per team of four or $75 for individuals. The entry fee includes lunch provided by Emerald Mountain Golf Club, and a beverage cart will be available during the tournament. Teams are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible.
Chappelle said the chamber is still looking for businesses to help sponsor the event. Sponsorship packages are available for $200, $300 and $3,000.
Individuals or a business can sponsor a hole for $200 and receive social media and email promotion and active engagement with the tournament's 150-plus golfers. For $300, individuals or a business can purchase the First Responder Supporter package, which covers a team of four from the first responder organization of your choice, a gift for the first responder team and website, social media and email promotion. The title sponsorship costs $3,000 and includes the company name displayed at check-in, the company listed on all promotions, a foursome registration, “Presented by” in event digital advertisements and website, social media and email promotion.
Volunteers are needed as well to help work the event. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Janice Whorton at 334-567-4811 or Chappelle at email@example.com.