Today’s Rotary program highlighted Sycamore Services and the contribution they have made to our community. Flory recognized not only the players but the sponsors and volunteers from this years outing. Amy Kettering highlighted the various services they provide to their clients and families & Pat Cockrum, CEO and fellow Rotarian expressed his gratitude for the donations Rotary has given to support their children services.
Danville Rotary has supported this organization since it was formerly known as Opportunity Cottage, with the Harold Martin Golf Outing. Many have asked why it is called this so I have compiled with the help of many others this history for your enjoyment.
History of the Harold Martin Golf Outing
Named after our 13th Rotary President
Harold Martin was a local businessman for many years working in his later years in Real Estate development. He openly declared he hated golf. Stories have it that during the year of 1989 the local duffers would gather around the center table at what is now Mayberry Cafe and swap stories. While Harold would join them for coffee he continued to make fun of those golfers who would chase a little white ball all over the course. Four of those golfers Harold Hiser, Leroy Rutledge, Denny Petri & Doug Catt decided to take Harold out one day in late 1989 to play his first round of golf. It’s told they didn’t win him over to want to return to the course with the white balls. Early the next year Harold passed away and as a way to honor a longtime friend and Rotarian they started the Harold Martin Golf Outing. The rules were a little different from the rules and courtesy afforded today’s golf courses. There were hammers used as putting irons, swivel bar stools were sat upon to tee off, another hole a ping pong ball was used to putt, and on another hole the person winning the shortest drive was the winner of a burial suit for a year donated by Weaver Funeral home only to return it and hope they didn’t win it the next year. Another hole was the luck of the roll of dice to choose the club that would be used for the play during that hole from teeing off, chipping and putting all in the name of fun and in remembrance of their dear friend. Several years later it’s rumored that during the outing the current Rotary President went around with a super soaker baptizing those as they attempted to tee off from various holes, not sure who but it’s rumored that a Cat was involved!
A couple years later the idea of this fun golf outing was passed on to the Rotarians to organize and honor their good friend and fellow Rotarian as they continued to support one of his favorite charities, Opportunity Cottage, now known as Sycamore Services. Our current records reflect since 2010 with the leadership of faithful Rotarians we have been able to raise and donate over $100,000 to this worthy organization through the Harold Martin Golf Outing.
We were fortunate to have his son Jeff Martin, Danville Rotary’s 32 President, with us today as we not only recognize his fathers’ contribution to our community but to remember his legacy with this Golf outing.