Fun with a purpose at the 2021 CIU Golf Classic

Golfers tee-off at the Columbia Country Club in the CIU Golf Classic

Fun with a purpose at the 2021 CIU Golf Classic

Fun with a purpose at the 2021 CIU Golf Classic

Golfers tee-off at the Columbia Country Club in the CIU Golf Classic

By Bob Holmes

It was a great day for golf if there ever was one. And fun.

“Lord thank you so much for this amazing day and the fun of golf, and I repeat the FUN of golf,” began the opening prayer by Columbia International University alumnus and board member Adrian Despres.

The temperature at tee time was in the 70s as dozens of golf carts rolled onto the Columbia Country Club Golf Course carrying over 125 smiling golfers participating in the annual CIU Golf Classic, raising money for CIU Rams Athletics.

A big smile was also on the face of CIU Athletics Director Darren Richie, knowing how much CIU athletics would benefit from the event that raised $35,000 in 2020, and designated to the new lights on the baseball field.

“We still have bleachers and a press box we have to build at the baseball and softball fields,” Richie said. “It’s an exciting time.”

Among the golfers was Keith Byrom of Siemens Corporation who says he appreciates how CIU teaches students to “plant the seed of God” in the marketplace.

“To me that is very important as a businessman,” Byrom said. “I think we need to profess our Christianity and not be afraid of it, and I love what the college is doing to foster that environment. You can’t help but to want to support it.”

That falls in line with The Mission Statement of the CIU Athletics Department: “a community of believers who exist to Glorify God by using sports as a platform to impact the nations with the message of Christ.”

And that takes us back to the essence of the prayer by Despres that ended with a loud proclamation across the public golf course:

“I pray that we would have fun in the Lord .. but more than all that, thank you so much Jesus for dying on the cross. What in the world? We’d be lost without You, and we say thanks from our souls. You’re the greatest, and we praise You.”   

Meanwhile, Despres must be a pretty good golfer. His team, sponsored by his son’s business Despres Painting Company, won their flight of the tournament.

Read more about the results at CIURams.com

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The CIU Golf Classic at the Columbia Country Club

The CIU Golf Classic at the Columbia Country Club