Coggins Auto Charity Golf Tournament Tees Off for Sunrise Benefit / iBerkshires.com

The fundraiser included a raffle and awards.

BENNINGTON, Vt. — The first Coggins Auto Group Charity Golf Tournament teed off Friday at Mount Anthony Country Club to raise money for the Sunrise Family Resource Center.

“One of our main focuses for our business is giving back to the community,” said Valerie Harrington, marketing director for Coggins Auto Group. “And we wanted to come up with an event for a nonprofit or a small Charity in the area that can really use a little boost. Because on their own, they would never really have the budget or people to accomplish something as large as a big fundraising golf tournament.”

The tournament hopes to donate thousands of dollars every year to help fund organizations serving local families and children in need. Before Friday’s tee off, the tournament had already raised $16,000, including expenses, and Toyota has agreed to match up to $10,000.

“Our goal was at least $10,000, and we definitely surpassed it,” Harrington said. “I don’t know the full amount yet. I’m waiting until the last minute tomorrow to do my final calculations, but it’s really exciting. This is going to be huge for them.”

Harrington said they hope to benefit another organization in need at next year’s tournament. She explained that the Sunrise Family Resource Center, one of 15 Vermont Parent Child Centers and the only one in Bennington County, was an easy choice to be the tournament’s first beneficiary.

“They help connect families with education, child care — they assist financially with it when needed — transportation, clothing children. They do so much,” she said. “They’re care providers themselves and they just seemed like a really good place to start. They’re pretty well-known around, but they’re just not as

Participants played in a four-person scramble format, where after each member tees off, the team selects the best shot out of their teammates. Each team member plays their next shot from that spot and continues throughout the rest of the hole.

Harrington on Thursday said 15 teams of four had signed up, but any last-minute teams were welcome.

Following tournament play, there was an on-course BBQ and the announcement of raffle and award winners.

Harrington said this is the first time she or Coggins Auto Group have done an event like this. The community support for the tournament, she said, has been empowering.

“It makes me feel really good about the community and all the other businesses that stepped up and we’re like, ‘Yeah we’ll get involved, we’re going to sponsor, we’re going to do this, we’re gonna play,'” Harrington said. “It’s amazing, it’s really cool to see all the support come out for such a great cause.”

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