Durham attorney Anitra Royster credits, at least in part, her educational success and her love of giving back to the Sampson High School Alumni Association and its members. Being a SHSAA scholarship recipient as a graduating senior at Clinton High, Royster said, made all the difference for her.
“My parents were not able to afford to pay for my tuition, room and board,” the 1995 CHS graduate noted. “That scholarship was a tremendous help in financing my college education.”
Royster graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999 with a degree in psychology and went on to N.C. Central University’s School of Law, where she earned her law degree in 2002.
She credits her educational success to people who laid the ground work for her to get the college education she desperately wanted, people that included the alumni group.
“I am so thankful for what they did for me,” Royster attested. “It opened the doors for me and for students like me; it’s a wonderful thing. Financing an education should not be an impediment to getting one, and thanks to the Sampson High School Alumni Association, it wasn’t for me and others, too.”
Raising money for those scholarships is vital, Royster acknowledged, noting that she supports SHSAA events, such as the upcoming golf tournament which will raise money for those all-important scholarships.
“That’s one of the main reasons for the group,” pointed out Lenzie Grice, a member of the SHSAA golf tournament committee. “Raising money and helping our young people achieve success is vitally important to what we do. That’s why we have the golf tournament each year.”
The two-day tournament, now in its 29th year, tees off Saturday at 8 a.m. at Timberlake Golf Club, with on-site registration starting at 6 a.m. Second day times, on Sunday, are the same as the first day of the tourney.
The participation field, Grice said, was limited to the first 120 paid golfers. So far, 30 players have signed up, but Grice is hoping to double, even triple, that number by the weekend. “People can sign up now or they can come by on Saturday. We will take walk-ins as long as the field isn’t full.”
Of course, they hope the field fills quickly, knowing that a large group means that much more success for the scholarship fund.
To date, the alumni group has provided 200-plus local students with nearly $400,000 in college scholarships. The golf tournament began in 1988 as a way to help raise scholarship m0ney; it has continued for 29 years, raising over $96,000 to the SHSAA Scholarship Fund.
Royster encourages participation in the tournament. “Helping someone who wants a college education to get one is so important; it can make all the difference in a person’s life. And, it allows the cycle of giving to continue. I certainly support them (the alumni group) and my son is actually participating in something they are doing in June. Giving back is important, and those of us who’ve been helped by these scholarships believe in giving back, at least I do.”
The two-day tournament includes three men’s flights and one women’s flight, with cash prizes awarded for Championship Flight, 1st Flight, 2nd Flight and Women’s Flight. Prizes range from $150 to $50. In addition, trophies, gifts and/or other prizes will be awarded for the longest drive and closest to the pin.
Cost to participate is a $130 donation; junior golfers can play for $60. Participants get, in addition to their golf fees, carts, goodie bags, gifts, prizes, refreshments and a full dinner on Sunday.
“We are thrilled to have this tournament in Clinton again this year,” Grice said, “and we are hoping for good attendance, good weather and a good time.”