“It ain’t over, til it’s over!” That famous quote from the late baseball Hall of Fame New York Yankees catcher and manager Yogi Berra comes to mind with all the post-mortems being written and said in the print and electronic media about the end of the Forsyth Classic. I caution my colleagues it may be premature to write the Forsyth Classic’s obituary at this time because a lot can happen between now and June. Yes, the Symetra Tour has announced this June’s 35th annual Forsyth Classic will be the last because of funding issues, including lack of title sponsor. But there are elections coming in April, including the village of Forsyth.
The village’s continued support of the Forsyth Classic should be one of the major issues since candidates should be asked their views on how to best spend the hotel and motel tax the village collects. I would like to see hotel and motel tax figures for the week of the event from Sunday when players and families as well as Symetra Tour officials arrive to the time everyone checks out the following Sunday after the checks are presented to the golfers.
Last spring the village board defeated continuing to sponsor the Classic after the 2019 event by one vote. And one of the members voting against continuing the Classic is not seeking re-election this April. I encourage all my Forsyth readers to ask the candidates how they feel about the village’s continuing or discontinuing use of the tax to support the classic. From my kitchen where I prepare all these ingredients for my healthy servings of Irish Stew, I see first hand the benefits of the event as the motels there are full, the restaurants have more standing room only lines than they normally do on the Classic weekend. I know because I’ve waited for tables. The waiter staffs love the event because of the tips they receive during the week from event attendees. T
ournament director Cindy Deadrick-Wolfer has known since 2017 that funding for one of the Decatur’s sports treasures was becoming increasingly difficult and creating considerable stress on her, who has been involved in this event one way or another for 25 years of the 35 that it will have been competed. Retired daily executive sports editor Mark Tupper and this sports editor are the only two active media, who covered the first event and still are 35 years later. When she says that losing the Classic is like “a blow to the stomach,” she is sincere because being a part of and nurturing it becomes a part of you as much as you become a staple to the Classic itself.
More About The Classic and other sports in this week’s print and online editions of the Decatur Tribune.