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PLYMOUTH - With all the things that are up in the air about high school athletics there is at least some good news as the annual golf fundraiser for Plymouth athletics - the Art Thomas Big Red Open - is providing a great start to the fall season.

Named after one of Plymouth's legendary coaches from the '50s and '60s who was also Mayor of Plymouth, the outing has been a red-letter social date for decades for former Plymouth athletes to get together and enjoy a day on the course. It has also become a big boost to the bottom line for Plymouth sports, last year raising around $30,000 for the athletic department.

"We are sold out for the 18 hole tournament and we have a waiting list but it doesn't look like we will have any no shows," said Plymouth AD Michael Delp. "It looks like we will be very close to that $30,000 number that we raised last year."

"We've got the traditional extra's like closest to the pin, and longest drive," he said. "We've got a La-Z-Boy recliner at one hole donated by Banfich Interiors that are all included with the price of playing. The pro shop (at Pretty Lake Golf Club) has donated a top of the line putter for one hole, that one will cost $10 extra, but everything considered we should be close to raising as much as we did a year ago."

There is still a nine-hole option for players that begins at 9 a.m. on Friday that has some open spots. Both options also include lunch.

The money will be welcome to Plymouth sports as a year that is dominated by the looming uncertainty of COVID-19 will make things even tighter on the budget.

"We are excited to actually get going, we've already had a few girls golf matches but we are looking at reduced seats available at events, and reduced concession sales," said Delp. "Losing Blueberry (Festival) is a huge hit to some of our programs who made money parking cars or working the baseball diamond and many other things. It took away a lot of money that lots of our programs rely on to fund their seasons."

See the full story in The Pilot News.

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