NEW WINDSOR – The New Windsor-based Maj. Gen. Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of the national Tuskegee Airmen association hosted its 21st Annual Willie Carter Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Golf Classic on Monday, August 12 at the West Hills Country Club, in Middletown.
The tourney, which has become a Hudson Valley golf tradition, honors the memory of the late Willie Carter, a beloved Orange County golf pro, youth mentor and educator. Carter ultimately became the first African-American principal in the Middletown School District, as well as owner of the Willie Carter Golf Center, where he taught the game to countless young people from the Hudson Valley region.
Registration began at 11:00 a.m., with the West Hills practice facilities and locker rooms that were available as well. Play tee off was at 12:30 p.m., and food was available at the turn. The day ended with cocktails at 5:30 pm and a reception and buffet dinner an hour later.
Prior to that, golfers gathered at 5:15 pm for the tournament’s top attraction: unique to the Hudson Valley region, a spectacular helicopter golf ball drop courtesy of Stewart-based Independent Helicopters and one of its spotless Robinson R44 helos. Winner received a one-week Las Vegas timeshare stay during the first week of 2020, or a stay available within one year of winning anywhere the timeshare is available. Closest ball to-or in-the cup wins. The day-long competition also offered a variety of other prizes and trophies, from a new BMW for a hole in one to closest-to-the-pin and longest-drive trophies.
The Willie Carter Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Golf Classic benefits the Trowell-Harris Chapter’s several youth programs. They include weekly youth aviation classes and an aviation summer camp, as well as its scholarship program, which has already awarded more than $217,000 in tuition assistance to graduating Hudson Valley high school seniors. The Hudson Valley Tusekegee Airmen Endowment Fund is administered by the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan.