Ed “Too Tall” Jones To Be Special Guest For JMCAAC’s Golf Classic On September 12
Tournament Silent Auction to include autographed sports items
JACKSON, Tenn. – Sports Hall of Famer and hometown favorite, Ed “Too Tall” Jones will be the special guest golfer for the Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce’s 7th Annual Follow Me Celebrity Golf Classic on Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 8:30am shotgun start at Bent Tree Golf Course, 2993 Paul Coffman Drive. Co-chaired by Ted Austin of Jackson Energy Authority and Charley Deal of the University of Tennessee at Martin along with celebrity co-chair and former NFL defensive back Coach Derrick Burroughs of Lane College, the tournament is a four-player scramble open to men, women, mixed teams and individuals. Registration forms for the tournament are available online at www.jmcaacc.org and via Eventbrite. For more information, call 731-424-2030 or email [email protected]
Sponsored by Jackson Energy Authority (JEA), Toyota Bodine Aluminum, Northwestern Mutual, Lane College, University of Tennessee at Martin and BancorpSouth along with The Jackson Sun, WOJG-FM and West Tennessee Examiner/Crimeseen — the Follow Me Celebrity Golf Classic raises funds for the African American Chamber’s Follow Me Into Business® youth development program. The 2017 summer jobs program ended July 21st, and participants also have the opportunity to participate in a Saturday program during the school year.
Every year since in 2011, JMCAACC office manager Mary Cunningham has invited Ed “Too Tall” Jones to participate in the tournament but he was always busy or out of the country. “When he called me on Wednesday, I didn’t believe it was him,” she said with her trademark smile. The silent auction at this year’s golf classic will include autographed items by Jones and other sports icons like Eli Manning.
Edward Lee Jones, 6 ft. 9-in., is a former Merry High School basketball star who went on to Tennessee State University and, after two seasons, decided to play football for renowned TSU Head Coach John Merritt. He was the first overall draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 1974 and played defensive end with the team for 15 seasons. He won his gold championship ring for Super Bowl XII on January 15, 1978. During his collegiate career, TSU won the Black College Football National Championship in both 1971 and 1973. Now a motivational speaker, Too Tall is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (1994) and the Black College Football Hall of Fame (2013).
This is the second year that Ted Austin and Charley Deal have co-chaired the Follow Me Celebrity Golf Classic. Austin is Vice-President of Customer Service and Community Relations for JEA. Deal is Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations and Annual Giving as well as Director of the WestStar Leadership Program at UTMartin.
Coach Derrick Burroughs, a 1984 University of Memphis MVP and first round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills, has been Celebrity Co-Chair for the golf tournament since 2015. Director of Athletics and Head Football Coach, he has enhanced the college’s football coaching staff with the addition of other NFL professional athletes like Howard Ballard and Dorsett Davis. He is also President/CEO of Icon Sports & Entertainment Group.
While the golf classic was began seven years go in 2011, the African American Chamber’s Follow Me Into Business® program was started in 2002. The purpose of the free program is to give young people, 12-18, soft skills training, business basics training, on-site job shadowing and mentoring as well as community involvement opportunities. Participants are divided into two age groups. Training for ages 12 to 15 began June 1st and meetings were held twice a week on Thursdays and Fridays for eight weeks. At an awards banquet held at T.R. White Sportsplex on July 20th, younger participants received a $35 stipend, certificate of achievement and youth membership card for completing all eight weeks of the summer program. Guest speaker for the banquet was Tara Tansil-Gentry, a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Mobilization and Emerging Technologies Team and an instructor in the Health & Human Performance Department at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Catering was provided by William C. Martin of Martin Catering.
Training for ages 16-18 began June 7 for four weekly meetings focused on job readiness, interviewing techniques, and business culture. Successful participants were placed on job sites that included Blessed Beginnings Day Care, Family Healthcare of Jackson, Food Rite, It’s Printed, Nell Huntspon Flower Box, Superior Health and Wellness Clinic, and Walgreens South Highland. During July, teen workers worked up to 80 hours and were paid using a grant from the City of Jackson. They also enjoyed a special luncheon with Doug Roth, president of BancorpSouth.
As part of an annual tour to introduce them to various sites in and around Jackson, participants visited McKellar Sipes Regional Airport, Armstrong Flooring, and the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center and Tina Turner Museum on July 21st. While at the heritage center in Brownsville, they met local Mayor Bill Rawls who shared details of his personal and family history.
The Jackson Madison County African American Chamber of Commerce (www.jmcaacc.org) is a 501(3)c nonprofit organization founded in 1999. The office is located at 351-C North Royal in Jackson, Tennessee. For more information, call 731-424-2030 or 901-827-0836.