Herndon's residents and business employees will be battling for pride on the links and a brighter future for local artists as golfers participating in Jimmy's Ninth Annual Summer Golf Tournament tee off this Monday at the Herndon Centennial Golf Course for the benefit of the Council for the Arts of Herndon.
"It started out nine years ago real small with something like 60 players, and now it's gotten to be one of those big events where we sell out every year, every year we make more money for the arts," said Jimmy Cirrito, owner of Jimmy's Old Town Tavern, for which the event was named.
The golf tournament joins the arts council's spring event, the Taste of the Town, as the only two annual open fund-raising events to benefit the council, according to Jessica Hartz, director of public affairs for the arts council. Last year the golf tournament filled all of its 144 slots for golfers and succeeded in raising $8,266.
This year's event will feature raffle prizes and an awards ceremony, Hartz said.
"The most important thing to remember is that all of the money that we make for this event is going to go directly to all of our programs," said Hartz. "So not only will people have a great event to go to and have fun at and win prizes, but they will also get the benefit of the programs that we put on."
THE ANNUAL GOLF tournament is not the typical corporate golf outing, according to Grace Wolf, president of the arts council.
"You've got your classic golfers who come there to play, but at the same time they're mixing with the people who like to just come out and have a good time," Wolf said.
She particularly remembered seeing an Elvis impersonator in full dress drinking coffee and eating breakfast with the other more traditionally-attired golfers at last years event.
"It's an event for golfer but it's the perfect event especially if you're not a good golfer," Wolf added. "We like to incorporate a lot of fun and interesting challenges to make the event unique."
This year, some of those challenges include a longest drive competition; a trivia hole, where golfers who answer a trivia question correctly receive raffle tickets; and a "beat the hack" hole," where golfers square off with featured guests for prizes.
A hole-in-one competition will also take place, with prizes such as a new Harley Davidson motorcycle, a set of golf clubs and round-trip airplane tickets available to anyone who can sink the elusive shot.
FOR CIRRITO AND others involved, the golf tournament is a way of supporting a local charity through a community social event.
"I think all the cool restaurants out there have charity golf tournaments, so why should Jimmy's be the exception?" Cirrito said. "It's great because a lot of local businesses get involved and it's for a local organization."
And supporting the arts are a more than worthy cause, Cerrito added.
"Life's too short and what do we want to do when we enjoy it? We go to concerts and listen to music or we go to museums and look at art," he said. "So art is a very big part of enjoying life."