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Claude Akins Memorial Golf Classic Gives Back to Community and Participants
Updated August 25, 2017 1:04 PM
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Claude Akins
First Claude Akins Celebrity Golf Classic Provided by Joe S. Elliott
Second Annual Claude Akins Celebrity Golf Classic, including Claude Akins, Damon Bailey and Joe Elliott Provided by Joe S. Elliott

(BEDFORD) - The 2017 Claude Akins Memorial Golf Classic presented by the Bedford Recreation Foundation (BRF) will be held on the weekend September 2-3 at Otis Park Golf Course.

Claude Akins was a popular American Actor that grew up here in Bedford, Indiana just before he served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps in World War II.

After his service, Claude graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in theatre. From there he began his long and successful Hollywood career.

According to Joe S. Elliott, an integral coordinator of the event since 1995, the Claude Akins Memorial Golf Classic started as an everyday scramble until Claude Akins was asked to put his name to the tournament.

"They were going to call it the Claude Akins Celebrity Golf Classic or something like that. And he was going to bring some celebrities in," said Elliot. Pictured are two groups of participants in the first and second Claude Akins Celebrity Golf Classic, including Claude, Elliot and Damon Bailey.

As Claude brought the celebrities in, for two years there tournament flourished until Claude was diagnosed with cancer and later died. That is when it was decided to make the tournament the Claude Akins Memorial Golf Classic.

"In 1995 my brother and I joined the board... Our idea was to make it a community event where families can come together and play and turn it into where people were participating for a cause to help make things better for their community," Elliot continued.

The Claude Akins Golf Classic has put the proceeds of the event back into our community. Since 2015 over $100,000 in funding from BRF has went into the following:

  • Materials for the construction of the Indoor Golf Practice Facility at Otis Park
  • Indoor Putting Green for the Golf Practice Facility
  • $5,000 towards Construction materials for the Soccer Complex Covered pavilion
  • New Wilson Park Little League Field Scoreboard.
  • Renovation of Otis Park Stone Picnic Pavilions including new grills
  • Purchase of 20' Diagonal Screen Outdoor Projection System to show movies
  • New Sod for #17 Blue Tee Plus one load of sand for Bunkers at Otis Park
  • Materials for new siding, soffit and fascia for Clubhouse, Cart barn and Range ball building
  • $12,000 towards irrigation on Otis Park Golf Course Tee Areas
  • Red Brick Patio Renovations

"We've been able to put a lot of money back into the community in various ways and still give back to the golfers that participate that make it possible," said Elliot.

The six-person scramble offers more than $30,000 awarded in a multitude of team, individual and weekend prizes.

Proceeds from the event also go to the Claude Akins Scholarship and the BRF Scholarship, given every year to a graduating senior at BNL.

Support for this tournament will allow Bedford Recreation Foundation, Inc. (BRF) to continue working on projects the community can enjoy as well as generations to come.

The tournament that is presented by BRF raised over $37,000 in the 2016 Tournament.

Tee times will start at 7:15 a.m. each morning and at 1:15 p.m. each afternoon on the 2nd and 3rd.

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