By Joseph D. Bryant
Housing Authority of the Birmingham District
Longtime enthusiasts and newcomers alike will converge Friday on the green of the Roebuck Golf Course as the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District presents its annual George A. Pegues Memorial Golf Tournament.
The tournament is the authority’s largest fundraising event, supporting HABD self-sufficiency programs and the HABD Scholarship Foundation.
“This day of sportsmanship and competition will benefit causes that we all celebrate: education and self-sufficiency,” said Michael Lundy, HABD president and CEO. “I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and hard work that so many people have contributed to make this event possible. All of that effort culminates this week as players take to the links.”
The Family Self-Sufficiency program (FSS) is a housing authority initiative in which participants sign up for a five-year plan of self-improvement.
FSS graduates have found employment, advanced to better careers and have gone from public housing and Section 8 to gaining financial and housing independence.
“The program is designed for anybody who wants to have something and wants to become a homeowner,” said Beverly Fields, an FSS graduate who bought her home through the program. “This program really helps people and all you have to do is have that initiative and have that strive and energy and fight for what you want.”
Fields, who also works for HABD as a program specialist, says she is proof that the program works. “To have those keys and walk into it and say ‘this is mine,’ it’s just awesome,” she said.
The HABD Scholarship Foundation provides financial educational assistance to residents living in public housing or receiving Section 8. Scholarship support is broad, and includes traditional tuition assistance along with other needs.
The goal is to remove any barrier to educational achievement for residents who desire higher education and professional training.
The tournament this year adds a new feature with a guest speaker during the closing awards lunch. UAB head football coach Bill Clark will deliver remarks.
Clark will discuss the rebirth of UAB football program and how the campaign to reinstate the program galvanized and united the Birmingham community.
“We recognize this is a rare opportunity for us to have a head coach address our guests just as the football season begins,” Lundy said. “This time next year, Coach Clark himself will be busy leading the Blazers’ return to the gridiron.”
The golf tournament is coordinated by the volunteer FSS Advisory Board.
This year the A-List Networking Group has joined the effort and will present an opening benefit reception Thursday at the Redmont Hotel downtown from 6-9 p.m. The evening of socializing and professional networking will take place at the newly remodeled rooftop bar of the historic hotel. The reception will include refreshments and live music.
All proceeds from the “Sky is the Limit Rooftop Mixer and Fundraiser” reception will benefit the scholarship foundation.
“The golf tournament and activities surrounding it continue to evolve each year as more people learn about our mission,” said Cardell Davis, chairman of the HABD Board of Commissioners and president of the HABD Scholarship Foundation. “From volunteers and individual players to businesses large and small, support for this event continues to grow. The impact of these programs will be felt for generations to come.”