Annual Pioneer PlayDay Golf Tournament moves from June to September | Sports

The biggest fundraiser for Stillwater Athletics returns with its flagship events, but they will take place later than originally planned.

The 32nd annual Pioneer PlayDay golf course, which was scheduled for Friday at Stillwater Country Club, has been moved to September 19 at the same location. The silent auction is now scheduled for August 26 in the lobby of Pioneer Stadium.

Brian Warwick, the assistant athletic director who is expected to take over as senior athletic director on July 1, said the Stillwater Public Schools Athletic Department will lead the fundraiser. Previously, the booster club coordinated it.

At the time of the change of direction, the organizers decided to take more time to finalize the logistics. Warwick said he postponed Pioneer PlayDay for the benefit of everyone who plays a part in it.

“We just felt like if we had kept the same date, we wouldn’t have reached the level of event that we think we should have for our donors and for our attendees and for everyone involved,” he said. said Warwick. “We think if we could delay it a bit, that will allow us to make sure the event (goes) the way we think it should and therefore will allow him to raise the funds that we think it could and possibly help our children.

The delayed timeline is a potential way to attract more attendees — and dollars — to the fundraiser.

In the past, the golf tournament and the silent auction were held on the same day in June.

This time, the silent auction will take place first at a highly anticipated local event: the Pioneers’ home football opener against Greenwood, a flagship Arkansas program that won a state championship. in 2020. Stillwater is scheduled to start against Greenwood at 7 p.m.

Cheer coach Carolyn Walstad, who is also executive director of the Stillwater Area Sports Association, continues her role of securing valuables and unique experiences that can attract bidders. Last year, the News Press reported that the list included a golf ball signed by Viktor Hovland and a wrestling lesson with NCAA national champion AJ Ferrari.

“She kind of takes the lead in this silent auction, and she really comes out and gets some really great items,” Warwick said.

The football environment not only provides a setting for the silent auction, but also a means of publicizing the golf tournament. Because the golf run is scheduled for September, the athletic department has time to promote it during season-opening games at Pioneer Stadium, Warwick said.

The 31st annual Pioneer PlayDay raised between $40,000 and $50,000, and Warwick said the target goal is generally within that range. Donations are directed to a general fund for athletics and then distributed among various programs. Warwick said he expects this year’s proceeds to be split among all the teams instead of funding a colossal project.

“We’re still trying to recover from COVID a bit,” Warwick said. “So all of our programs need to try to catch up with the last couple of years of low numbers, low revenues and just kind of a gap in funding and purchasing of – whether it’s equipment, facilities or clothing – whatever.”

Community members can contact the Athletics Department to sponsor a hole on the golf course, register for the tournament, contribute an item to the silent auction, or ask general questions. Emails can be directed to Warwick via [email protected] or current AD Tucker Barnard via [email protected]

Warwick said he is looking forward to his first Pioneer PlayDay as chief athletic director, and he predicts fundraising will continue to grow. He credited Walstad, Jeff Watkins of DuPree Sports and Kevin Fowler of Simmons Bank for their roles in preparing for the event.

“I expect this to be our biggest year yet, actually, so I’m excited about it,” Warwick said. “It’s so important to us. The infusion of funds from this event allows us to do so many things, so it is so important for our programs in our department.

Michael C. Ford