An established memorial golf tournament whose proceeds will support higher education, cancer research and prevention, and public awareness about a devastating killer of both women and men is entering its sixth year.
The Becky Cooke Smith Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Monday, Sept. 24, at Cleveland Country Club, and team registration is now under way, according to an announcement by event sponsors Panera Bread of East Tennessee and Cooke’s Food Store.
The event also is being held in advance of the start of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Tournament proceeds will benefit specifically the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Becky Cooke Smith Scholarship Fund at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Brenda Davis Foundation of Cleveland. The tournament has raised more than $150,000 over the past five years on behalf of these organizations.
A Cleveland resident for 54 years, the late Becky Cooke Smith was a former business partner to the Panera Bread franchise of East Tennessee and to Cooke’s Food Store, as well as additional commercial ventures, and was a widely recognized, well-respected community leader within Cleveland and Bradley County.
A 1974 graduate of UTC who received her Certified Public Accountant certificate a year later, Smith was known as an active member of the Cleveland area business community. In this capacity, she became a recipient of the most prestigious recognition offered by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce — the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award. She was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church.
“Becky was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004,” according to a golf tournament news release. “Her strong will and independent spirit allowed her to continue to work daily. Her death in April 2007 surprised many because she held her battle very close.”
The golf tournament, which over the years has become as much a community event as an 18-hole sporting activity, seeks to commemorate “... her life and the many lives she has touched,” according to the Panera Bread and Cooke’s Food Store press statement.
As has been a community tradition for the past five years, the tournament is being supported by a variety of prize providers and event sponsors who have stepped up in the shared cause of cancer awareness, treatment and prevention.
This year’s Title Sponsor is Don Ledford Automotive Center. Elite Sponsor is Coca-Cola. Gold Sponsor is BB&T and the Silver Sponsor is Pepsi. Bronze sponsors are Athens Insurance and Tri Conn. Other sponsorships and in-kind supporters include Mayfield Dairy, Tarver Distributing, Golden Flake, Curt and Joanna Duncan, General Mills, McKee Baking and Frito-Lay. Media sponsors include the Cleveland Daily Banner, Mix 104 of Cleveland and Sunny 92.3 FM.
Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third-place teams, as well as to “Closest to the Pin” and “Longest Drive” for both men and women. Hole-in-one competitions also will be held for opportunities to win a pair of special prizes — a car and $10,000.
Limited team slots remain so participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible, according to the news release. Those wishing to participate or who want additional information, or who are interested in supporting the event and the ongoing fight against breast cancer, should visit the Panera of East Tennessee website at www.panera-easttennessee.com or contact Britney Cooke at firstname.lastname@example.org and label the message subject as “BCSM Golf Tournament.”
The tournament’s mailing address is Becky Cooke Smith Memorial Golf Tournament, P.O. Box 2365, Cleveland, TN 37320.
About National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
According to published documents, NBCAM was founded in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries which is now part of AstraZeneca, a manufacturer of several anti-breast cancer drugs. The NBCAM focus, as it has been from the beginning, is to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure:
According to published documents, the organization is formerly known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. It is the most widely known, largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the United States.
Since its inception in 1982, Komen — as the organization now is most frequently known — has invested nearly $2 billion for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the U.S., and through partnerships in more than 50 countries. Today, Komen has more than 100,000 volunteers working in a network of 124 affiliates worldwide.