Pathfinder to host annual Tournament of Champions

By Kayla Baugh Published September 7, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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From left, Mike McCreight, Dusty Maxwell and Pat Satterfield of Pathfinder in Jacksonville prepare for their annual Tournament of Champions fundraising golf tournament, which will take place Sept. 25 at Southern Oaks Country Club in Jacksonville.

— An afternoon spent with friends is never wasted — especially when it’s for a good cause.

Those who participate in Pathfinder’s 28th annual Tournament of Champions can look forward to a variety of activities, including food, photos, door prizes, raffle items and 18 holes of golf.

The four-player scramble will take place Sept. 25 at Southern Oaks Country Club in Jacksonville.

Pam Satterfield, special programs coordinator for Pathfinder Inc., said registration and lunch will begin at 11 a.m., followed by a tee-off at 1 p.m.

Registration costs $400 per player, she said, and the deadline to register is Sept. 21.

Satterfield said there will be two hole-in-one contests, one for $10,000 and the other for a golf cart, along with a putting contest.

Some of the door prizes and raffle items up for grabs will include tickets to University of Arkansas at Little Rock basketball games, gift cards, Yeti cups and free rounds of golf at a variety of courses, she said.

Centennial Bank of Jacksonville will provide hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch, she said, and baked beans, potato salad, chips and cobbler will also be served.

Pizza and cookies will be provided for dinner.

Satterfield said awards will be presented for first, second and third place in three flights; the last-place team; closest to the pin; and the longest drive.

Title sponsors include All Care of Arkadelphia, Business World of Little Rock and Guard 4 Life of Hot Springs, she said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Pathfinder, an organization that provides services to Arkansas citizens with developmental disabilities.

“Events like this help make people in the community aware that individuals with special needs or behavioral health issues share the same hopes and dreams as they do,” she said.

Satterfield said she is passionate about the growth and changes that Pathfinder makes daily.

“[The tournament] is an opportunity to share my passion of Pathfinder with the stakeholders in our community,” she said.

Mike McCreight, executive director of Pathfinder Inc., said the golf tournament is Pathfinder’s primary annual fundraiser.

“It is an opportunity to remind our business partners and friends in the community of the services that Pathfinder provides,” he said.

McCreight said the tournament generates funds that can be utilized to meet needs when resources are not otherwise available.

Pathfinder is currently working to increase employment opportunities available to individuals in the community, he said.

The organization provides a wide variety of services to children and adults with developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues, he said.

“There is a great deal of potential that these persons possess that should be developed. They can be productive citizens who work and live in the community,” he said.

McCreight said the tournament reminds businesses and individuals about Pathfinder, what it stands for and how their support can make a difference for the organization.

Although participants are usually competitive and hope to win, he said, they also understand that the primary purpose of the event is to benefit Pathfinder through recognition and financial support.

“Pathfinder has a long history of meeting the needs of individuals with disabilities in an outstanding fashion,” McCreight said. “[The organization has] also been a leader in the development of new approaches to providing services.”

Pathfinder recently placed someone into a position at Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office, he said.

McCreight said convincing the general public of the capabilities of Pathfinder participants and how productive they can be in community work environments can be challenging at times.

“I was extremely pleased by how the governor’s staff has treated this individual and helped him to adapt to this new employment opportunity and grow. I also love to see how proud this individual is of his new position,” McCreight said.

Adults who have always relied on family and friends to take care of their basic needs enter the Pathfinder program and, as time passes, learn to become increasingly independent, he said.

Similarly, he said, children whose parents have been told they will never walk or talk enter the preschool program, and McCreight said the children often end up accomplishing tasks people never expected them to achieve.

“What is more important than learning to be mobile and communicate with others?” he asked.

Staff writer Kayla Baugh can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or

None Kayla Baugh can be reached at 501-244-4307 or

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