Golf Tournament Raises Scholarship Money

A deserving young person will have a chance to attend college, thanks to the sacrifice of a South Mississippi woman killed in the September 11th terrorist attack.

Picayune native, Ada Wilson-Mason, worked for the U.S. Army at the Pentagon.

Her friends and family want to honor her memory with a scholarship fund. A golf tournament at Keesler Friday was an important first step in making that happen.

"This is the first of what we hope will become an annual event to provide scholarships in the name of Ada Wilson-Mason," said the tournament starter as golfers prepared to tee off.

Ada Wilson-Mason's sister was among the 50-plus golfers who turned out at Keesler to raise money for the scholarship fund.

JoAnn Wilson-Johnson says honoring her sister by supporting education is appropriate.

"She stressed to her kids to get an education. Her son is at Old Dominion. He's maintaining a 'B' average. And this is his first year in college, so he's doing great," Johnson said.

The golfers paused for a brief ceremony before teeing off. Although many never met Ada Wilson-Mason, their response as Americans showed support.

"And we want to continue to remember those who have sacrificed their lives for freedom's sake. But today especially, we thank you and your family for your sacrifices to our military," said Colonel J.B. Murray, vice commander of the 81st training wing.

Fifth district Congressman Gene Taylor also addressed the crowd.

"Again, it was such a tragic loss on the 11th. But this in some small way does mitigate it. And particularly in giving some other young person the chance to go to school," Taylor said.

JoAnn Wilson-Johnson enjoyed golfing with friends. But the true enjoyment from the game comes not on the golf course, but in a future college classroom.

Money raised by this inaugural golf outing will ensure a scholarship for some needy student in the name of someone who cared about education.

"I hope that if a child, any child in the Gulfport-Biloxi area applies, it will help them. Someone had to pay the way for me. And this is what I hope. And I know she's satisfied with this. Thank you very much," Johnson said.

Fifty-six golfers played in the inaugural tournament. They raised more than $1,600 for the scholarship fund.