The 2020 Gateway First State Bank Tulsa Junior hosted by Bo Van Pelt has been named the recipient of the 2020 Game Changer Award by the American Junior Golf Association.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving and volunteer base. Awards are also given to the events with engaged media and social media participation. Finally, the AJGA recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most game changing event, best new event, best Junior Golf Hub Preview Series tournament, best AJGA Junior All-Star Series tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year. Tournament awards for the 2018 season will be presented on-site at 2019 tournaments.
Players and volunteers saw great improvements to their overall experience at the tournament.
One of the keys to success for the tournament was the increase in net proceeds from their mark in 2019. This event managed to have $60,000 in net proceeds, double from a year prior. This event had a full committee with a total of seven individuals and Maggie Roller, the Tournament Chair did her part to make sure this event was an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
“I think the main goal is to give the kids in Tulsa and Oklahoma the chance to play on a national, top tour in their own hometown,” Roller said. “And for the kids in Oklahoma City and all over, for them to have a nice tournament. The Oak Tree tournament dropped and so I used that as an opportunity to see if I could start one.”
Donations played a big part in the event this year. The staff was provided with private housing through individuals in the community. They were also offered four courtesy cars to use throughout their week for any local travel that needed to be done. Each AJGA event has a medic on-site at all-times and services were donated for this event as well. Tulsa Sports Commission also helped support the event. The water on-site and the volunteer shirts were all covered by the Tulsa Sports Commission.
“It is such a great tournament. We have been involved since the beginning and it really lines up with our mission of strengthening families and communities,” Casey Beeman of Gateway First Bank said. “We are just really proud to be a part of organizations like this.”
Tournament chair Maggie Roller received the award at the 2021 Gateway First Bank Tulsa Junior hosted by Bo Van Pelt which was held August 9-12.