HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - The Heritage Golf Tournament has been a tradition on HIlton Head Island for years. But the future of the tournament is uncertain since they still have no title sponsor.
"If we don't have a title sponsor by April next year, we'll be shutting our doors in May and that's a message that really needs to be told," said Tournament Director Steve Wilmot. "We're on the schedule next year, but we're on the schedule with us using the reserves and great support from the county and the town and we're looking for that title sponsor and that's a 24-7 mission."
That's why the community is stepping up to the plate. Wednesday afternoon many in the community came together to learn more about helping the Sponsor Partnership Club sell lower level Heritage sponsorships throughout the community.
"We think it's important for everyone in the community to support the Heritage in some way," said Tom Lennox, who is leading the group this year. "Sponsor Partnership Club has sponsorships available ranging from $50 to $2,500."
Many at the kickoff meeting know the importance of the tournament and are ready to do their part to help the cause.
"It is so vital to our community number one the economic impact we all know that but Hilton Head Island is known for the Heritage we can't loose that," said M.C. Strong, volunteer.
"I really believe in what the tournament stands for, how it does give back to the community," said Jody Robinson, volunteer.
Last year, the Partnership Club brought in $120,000. This year they need even more support.
"We're building off what we did last year, our goal is twice as much as last year, and it's double because it's twice as important," said Lennox.
Volunteers are hoping their efforts will pay off and help secure a title sponsor. Torrey Gane is with the PGA Tournament and says this is an important step.
"Anyone who will come in as a title sponsor will want to know that the community is engaged, supportive and really wants the tournament to stay for many years to come so I think it's very important," said Gane.
To entice more community members to purchase sponsorships, they're adding a new benefit this year to many of the packages, a Partner ID card that will give sponsors discounts at many restaurants and businesses on the island.
The Sponsor Partnership Club needs 100 volunteers for this effort and are still looking for more. If you'd like to volunteer or would like to show your support by purchasing a sponsorship, call Bill Wagner at 843.671.2448.