The UA Army ROTC is hosting a golf tournament on April 19 to raise funds and work toward creating an alumni association.
Besides giving participants a chance to play at The Golf Club at Vistoso at a discounted rate, the first annual Army ROTC Alumni and Friends Golf Scramble will also include raffles, silent auctions and golf competitions. The tournament, which begins at 1 p.m., will help raise funds for scholarships, grants and team-building activities, as well as serving as part of a larger effort to create a UA Army ROTC Alumni Association.
Though the ROTC program has been active at the UA for years, there has never been an alumni association. An alumni association would be an opportunity to bring current cadets and alumni together, according to Cadet Battalion Commander Benjamin Martinelli.
“We’d really like to get to know some of our alumni that we’ve never known,” Martinelli said. “There are hundreds and hundreds of alumni out there,that we have no idea who they are.”
Martinelli said an alumni association would provide a conduit for alumni to learn about what Army ROTC alumni are doing now and also serve as a way to foster relationships between current cadets and alumni.
“We could use them as mentors because they’ve gone through what we’re about to go through,” Martinelli said. “We can reach out to them if we need any guidance for anything.”
The scholarships funded through the tournament will go to the best students in each class, according to Lt. Col. Benjamin Walters, professor of military science for UA Army ROTC. The smaller grants will act as emergency funds for when students find themselves needing financial assistance in unexpected situations.
However, Walters agrees that the tournament is bigger than just fundraising.
“My goal and ambition is to get the alumni association off the ground,” Walters said.
Tyler Jackson, a junior studying history and military science and leadership, said he is focused on getting members of the Greek community involved in the event by sponsoring a hole or simply playing in the tournament. People and companies can pay $100 to get a banner with their name at a hole on the course to show that they’re sponsors. The sponsors and participants are a mix of Greek life members, family, friends, alumni and community members, according to Jackson.
“Overall, the purpose of this tournament is to get the community involved in the Army ROTC,” said Jackson. “It’s nice to have an event where you can bring together so many different people. You bring them all together behind something that is in essence American —golf and the armed forces.”
Though this is the event’s first year, Jackson said the goal is to make it an annual event.
“I guess our goal for this in the future is that this is an event that people look forward to once a year,” Jackson said. “Golf is almost a universal sport. The interest in golf is humongous.”