For Tinka Looney, it all started with some tuckered little boys.

For Tinka Looney, it all started with some tuckered little boys.


"It was around the early 1980s, when I was in sixth grade, and my brothers and I were in temporary classrooms at B. McDaniel (Middle School) with no air conditioning," said Tinka’s son Matthew Looney. "We were coming home just ragged. So as a concerned parent, she decided to do something about."


Looney started soliciting donations from other citizens around Denison, at first just $10 or $20 at a time.


"The first year it was air conditioners, the next year it was school supplies, and it just kind of became bigger and bigger each year," said Matthew Looney in reference to the early years of the Denison Education Fund, now called the Denison Education Foundation. "It was her mission; it was what she wanted to do."


Tinka Looney died in 1997, but the Foundation survived. Two years after her death, Foundation leaders started the Tinka Looney Memorial Golf Classic as the organization’s chief yearly fundraiser, an event that will be held for the 14th time on Saturday at the Denison Country Club. The event is presented annually by the Clara Blackford and W. Aubrey Smith Foundation, and is supported by more than 50 sponsors.


"The money that we generate from the tournament goes right back into the classroom," said Matthew Looney. "We try to return those dollars to the schools as quickly as possible. Teachers write grants for innovative ideas to help encourage learning."


Participation in the golf tournament, which kicks-off at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start, is $125 per golfer, tax deductible, with competition in a four-man scramble format. Cash prizes will be awarded for the top four teams.


"We had almost 100 golfers last year, and we’re hoping to have about that same number next weekend," said Looney. "To now have over $1.6 million in the bank, it’s a real legacy to all the people who helped to create the foundation, and really to the people of Denison."


Interested golfers can register for the tournament at http://www.denisonisd.net, by clicking on the "DISD Education Foundation" link. Registration will remain open through Friday.