Players came from throughout the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex Monday to take part in Grayson College’s 21st annual Miller Barber Golf Tournament. The tournament, which was held at Tanglewood Golf Course in Pottsboro, raises money for the Grayson College Foundation to provide general scholarships for incoming students.

Director of Development and Alumni Kathy Hendrick said Monday’s event was one of the biggest the college has ever seen.

“It’s really good, and it’s still growing,” Hendrick said. “We keep changing and trying to make it better every year. And so we’re really pleased with the turnout today. We have people from Arlington and Plano and Fort Worth and all over. Of course, we have our local people from Grayson County as well.”

The tournament was named for Miller Barber, a consistent contender on the PGA tour during the 1960s and 1970s, upon his death. Barber was a resident of the area and a longtime supporter of the college. Karen Barber said she and her late husband always enjoyed their relationship with the college.

“When I moved here, we had three young boys,” Barber said. “We ended up raising all five of our boys here. It was just a great place to be. I just love being here and coming back. It’s just a great college and great community. I just think it’s something that we need to keep going and keep supporting. It’s just getting better and bigger every year.”

Major sponsors for this year’s event included Plyler Construction, Blake Utter Ford and Bayless-Hall Insurance. David Bayless said sponsoring the event was an easy decision.

“Grayson College has been a real asset to so many age groups and people in Grayson County,” Bayless said. “You’ve got freshmen that are 18 years old and freshmen that are 59 years old. And all of the programs that go on — especially programs like nursing that have been so critical to this area and the medical communities that we have. It’s just a good thing because it touches so many lives.”

Another sponsor for the event, Ken English, explained the college has a major impact on Choctaw students.

“Education is what my whole career has been about,” English said. “My dad was the first one in his family to go to college. I have been in education almost 42 years. Grayson College plays a real important role in this area. Not only for the Sherman and Denison community but also for the Choctaw Nation. It’s important that the community realizes just how much this institution does. These scholarships allow a lot of these kids to go to school.”

The Grayson College Foundation was created in the late 1990s as a multi-function entity to raise money for the college. The college distributed nearly 500 scholarships totaling around $580,000 last year. Grayson College President Jeremy McMillen said the funds raised from the golf tournament have a major impact on students.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to provide students with the motivation that they need to study hard and do well in their classes,” McMillen said. “For them to build momentum to the completion that we hope that they want to reach. It gives them hope. Many times, it’s the first time someone has invested in them and their educational pursuits. It’s a real powerful way to say we believe in you.”