Seventy-two golfers played a round of golf, Oct. 11, in support of Montreat College track and field coach Britten Olinger.
The Britten Strong Golf Tournament returned to the Black Mountain Golf Course for its second year, raising $14,000 for Olinger and his family.
The event, sponsored by 24 local businesses and community members, has raised $38,000 for the coach, who was severely injured in 2017 when a driver traveling over 100 miles per hour crashed into Olinger's car in the intersection of Montreat Road and State Street.
The impact left Olinger fighting for his life and partially paralyzed.
"This is a family that will always need support from this community," said Eddie Colley, who was approached by an anonymous donor offering to match community contributions for the Olinger family. "This tournament is a way to help with that every year."
The inaugural tournament was held in May of 2018, but Colley and his wife Jessica moved it to October this year. The event, which was attended by Olinger and his family, included sponsors like Montreat College, Farris Home Inspection, Bliss Beauty Bar, We Haul and Jason and Bethany Scott, among others.
"We also received raffle and silent auction prizes from various local businesses," Colley said. "Several businesses sponsored a hole and gave a gift for the raffle. We couldn't have done this without all of the help from everyone involved. We also owe a special thanks to Front Porch Realty, because Tim Johnson rallied a bunch of sponsors and gifts in the days leading up to the tournament."
The tournament featured 18 teams of four in a captain's choice format. Olinger's father-in-law and brother-in-law were among the participants. Participants received a barbecue dinner from Phil's Bar-B-Que Pit and USA Golf provided a discount for the clubs given to winners of the longest drive and closest-to-the-pin contests.
"We actually had a father and son win the driver and putter this year," Colley said. "John Baker won the driver by getting closest to the pin and Joe took home a putter for winning the longest drive."
The fundraiser, which will return in 2020, was successful in its fall debut, according to Colley.
"It was a perfect day for golf and a great way for this community to show up for a special family here," said Colley, the broker in charge at the Black Mountain Keller Williams Realty office. "We plan to do this again next year, so we encourage anyone who wants to get involved to reach out."