Lake Junaluska Golf course photo

TEE IT UP — Lake Junaluska Golf Course will host the second annual Tuscola Mountaineers Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 17.

Tuscola’s Big T Club’s fundraising efforts are coming front and center with two events scheduled for the next few weeks.

First up is the golf tournament. It will be held Saturday, July 17 at the Lake Junaluska Golf Course.

Team entries, business sponsors and auction prizes are in the sign up stage. Teams are urged to enter early as spots are filling fast. Participation will help purchase items for the school’s athletic department and buy much needed equipment.

Team entries are $300 for a foursome and include a goody bag for each player and a breakfast and lunch provided by local restaurants. A chance to win prizes adds to the fun.

Business sponsorships are available in several levels.

• Gold Sponsor ($800) receives a team entry, mention on all promo flyers, tee or green advertisement and mulligan package.

• Black Sponsor ($500) includes a tee or green recognition, team entry and mulligan package.

• Tee Box/Green Sponsor ($100) includes an advertisement at the tee box or green.

Tuscola Head Coach Austin Cooke is chairing the event. He hopes to build on last year’s inaugural tournament. “Last year we were under some restrictions due to the circumstances but we ended up having a great tournament.”

Cooke gives special recognition to Auto Star USA for being the Mountaineer Sponsor of this year’s event. “I want to give a big thank you to Mr. Chandler over at Auto Star for doing that. The tournament will be named after them.”

“We got a ton of prizes to give away. Hometown Hardware is giving away a tool kit. Maggie Valley Golf is donating a foursome, and so many others. We have goodie bags with Bridgestone golf balls, tees and decals. We’re going to make it a big deal. We want to make people feel as welcome as we can,” Cooke said.

And don’t worry about going hungry. Lunch will be provided by Kornerstone Kafe in Waynesville. Breakfast will be provided by Burger King and Bojangles, with drinks courtesy of Pepsi.

Opportunities will abound to show your support of Tuscola’s sports. Prizes will be raffled and there will be longest drive and closet to the pin prizes. If someone gets a hole in one, they’ll get a custom set of Ping irons.

“We just ask that people come to be a part of it and help support the booster club for athletics and everything we got going on. Last year was awesome and people seemed to have a lot of fun,” Cooke said.

For more info, contact Cooke at 828-808-1429 or email

Big T Club Draw DownOne of the most popular fundraisers is the Big T Club Draw Down, taking place Saturday, Aug. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the Tuscola High School cafeteria.

Included in the $100 ticket price are two steak or chicken dinners and the draw down itself. During the draw down, ticket holders are eliminated and the last tickets remaining receive cash prizes. One lucky winner will receive a first place award of $5,000, while second the place ticket holder gets $1,000 and third place gets $500.

Other gifts will be awarded as well.

Renowned audiologist Dr. James W. Martin, born and raised in Waynesville, will speak to motivate the crowd. Principal Heather Blackman and Tuscola High School coaching staffs will be introduced. Got any questions about your favorite Tuscola team? It will be a fun time to meet and greet the movers and shakers of Tuscola athletics.

Doug McCracken is the founder of the draw down for Tuscola. “I’ve been involved in it for over 20 years, since 1999 when we started it. I’ve been the chairman over it ever since,” he said.

About this year McCracken said: “You get a steak dinner for two, plus we give away to every fourth person a door prize. Like I got a fishing pole here and we have a silent auction. We even have a load of wood. We got four cornhole boards. By-Pass Power Equipment is donating stuff to auction off. Hometown Hardware is a big supporter, too. During the evening, we’ll stop everything and give away $50 right there, and then we’ll increase to $100 for the next time to a lucky person. Our goal is to sell 300 tickets. We have never sold 300 tickets, so it will be a challenge.”

For more info, call Doug McCrackin at 828-550-2600.

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