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Oxford Stories: Tee It Up for Teachers Golf Tournament Set for Nov. 4-5

Avid golfer Nick Shelton, president of “Tee It Up For Teachers.” Photo by Sean Gillen.

Back in the summer, it was just an idea for Ben Thames and Nick Shelton. They sat in the pro shop at The Links at Oxford and discussed the possibility of hosting a golf tournament.

Now the idea has become a reality as the two prepare for their first tournament Nov. 4-5. “Tee It Up For Teachers” is a competition and a nonprofit organization. Thames and Shelton have raised money and gathered sponsors and teams for the event.
Newton native Thames, 28, is an Oxford resident and member of The Links at Oxford, where he plays golf. That is where he met Shelton, 21, of Goldwater. Both Thames and Shelton take pride in The Links, a nine-hole golf course. “We just want to give this course some good recognition,” Shelton said.

Executive Director Ben Thames talks about his golf tournament with his daughter, Harper. Photo by Sean Gillen.

The next step was finding a cause. Thames and Shelton spent time thinking about what would benefit the community. Eventually, they decided to host the tournament that supports Oxford and Lafayette County School District teachers.
Thames’ mother, mother-in-law, and some of his friends are teachers, and he believes they need support. He said some teachers may be on a tight financial budget. Worrying about classroom materials and supplies shouldn’t be an added concern.
“We wanted to have some form of charity and (a group) that could benefit from the event,” Shelton said. “All proceeds after the tournament expenses will be dispersed between the Lafayette School District and Oxford teacher endowment funds.”
Both Thames and Shelton hope to raise $5,000 for teacher funds. “Anything more is a bonus,” Shelton said. However, this number is dependent on community involvement.
Ben Thames, executive director for “Tee It Up For Teachers” and a member at The Links at Oxford, attempts a putt. Photo by Sean Gillen.

“Tee It Up For Teachers” is a two-day, four-man scramble that costs $100 per person. This includes golf, the use of carts, food and prizes.
Shelton credits Thames for securing local support and raising money for the event, and he thanked The Links at Oxford for allowing Shelton and himself to host the tournament.
He said weather on the day of the tournament is his main concern. “I’m aware things may sporadically pop up,” he said.
Back page of the flyer. Photo by Sean Gillen.

“I would love to see this grow – instead of helping one community, helping an entire region,” he added.
The two have been busy advertising the tournament. They have advertised their tournament with flyers posted inside the pro shop at The Links, spreading it by word of mouth. They have posted it to the North Mississippi Golf Tournaments Facebook page, and they have shared it on Twitter and Snapchat.
Anyone interested in sponsoring the event can reach out to Nick Shelton at nick.shelton2023@gmail.com or teeitup4teachers@gmail.com.

By Sean Gillen
Read more stories like this on Oxford Stories.
For questions or comments, email hottytoddynews@gmail.com.

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