About 100 golfers and education enthusiasts took the Denison Country Club to participate in the 19th annual Tinka Looney Golf Tournament. The tournament benefits the Denison Education Foundation.

Before the tournament began Saturday, the foundation had already raised $50,000 through its sponsorships.

“All of the money raised today goes right back to DISD for classroom grants,” Tammie Overturf of the foundation said. “This is an investment for our future. When we put money back into the students, classrooms, and teachers. When schools cannot buy certain materials, we help them out. People know what we are doing. They get to see the benefit of money we raise.”

Overturf said people like to give to the Denison Education Foundation because they know that the money they are donating will stay local.

“There are so many things that the education foundation has funded,” she said. “Teachers send in blind applications for grants for $5,000 to $10,000 or $3,000. We got out like the prize patrol and present the teachers with checks to do an integrative reading project or a hands-on science project.”

Tinka Looney was one of the founders of the Denison Education Fund about 25 years ago. Looney was integral in getting air conditioning put into Denison schools.

“Education is about constant learning,” Overturf said. “Teachers have different ways of reaching their students and we would not be able to do that without this fundraiser. This is one of our three events for the year. We all want to see our students, grow, learn and excel.”

Looney’s education fund goals directly align with the foundation’s goals, Overturf said.

“Tinka Looney was loving, passionate, kind,” Overturf said. “She was a mom that just loved working for children. She believed in Denison. I think that the money given to the schools over the years would exceed her expectations. I think that this would make her proud.”

This was Coleman Muirhead’s second year playing in the tournament. He said he enjoyed it last year because it was a lot of fun and he really likes golf.

“The funds raised at this tournament really help the school district out a lot,” he said. “Teachers should not have to spend their own money just to do their job. This helps so that they can focus on teaching and not have to worry about not having the materials that they need.”

City Limits owner Denny Callahan has been participating in the golf tournament since it began.

“The Looney family is just a great family and all of these volunteers do such a great job for the Denison Independent School District,” he said. “Tinka Looney was a great help in Denison. She wanted to help teachers get supplies so it is great that this is here to honor her.”

Callahan said this is his favorite tournament.

“This shows how the community can come together,” he said. “If anyone needs help, we can help and Grayson County is great for that. Teachers do not get paid enough and its great to pull together to help out this good cause.”