Nettle Creek celebrates 3rd annual Norton Cup
On Saturday, Nettle Creek Country Club hosted the third annual Norton Cup to honor Bill and Rosemary Norton.
Thirty-two two-person teams competed for the cup, which saw Mike Meyer and Chas Gorham win the Championship Flight with a 3-under 68. The “A” flight winners were Billy and Janine Petrick, with a team score of 78. Ken Poundstone and Terry Steinbach took home the Cup in “B” Flight, with a score of 82.
The tournament format consisted of a two-person scramble for six holes, followed by six holes of best ball, concluding with six holes of alternate shot. The tournament format was set up by Nettle Creek Country Club’s pro, Kurt Nolen, who said, “The players enjoyed this unique two-team format that is similar to the Ryder Cup’s format, the only golf tournament with this team style of play that I know of in the area.”
Nolen went on to thank the participants, along with John O’Connor of Visions Golf, who presented Joe Schmitz of Operation St. Nick a check in the amount of $3,200, half of the teams’ entry fees into the tournament, in honor of Bill and Rosemary Norton and to help St. Nick improve its literacy program.
Rosemary and her daughter, Nancy Norton-Ammer, also presented Schmitz with a check – from the Norton family in the amount of $2,500 in Bill Norton’s memory.
“My parents taught my sisters and me the importance of reading a variety of books at an early age,” Norton-Ammer said. “Our lives are greatly enriched when we immerse ourselves in good literature, not because we are being tested, but purely for the sake of personal satisfaction and enrichment.
“It is particularly gratifying to know that we are helping Operation St. Nick make a difference in children’s lives here in our own backyards.”
This year’s Norton Cup raised a record $8,545. A great portion of that will be used to improve the Braceville Grade School Library, enabling the children the opportunity to read hundreds of new and current books that are being chosen by the teachers of Braceville Grade School.
“Besides assisting the Braceville Grade School, Operation St. Nick will make sure each child on this year’s Christmas Wish List will also receive a book chosen by the Morris librarians,” Schmitz said. “The library will pick a book for each child specifically for their age and gender. We call this our ‘Book On The Bed’ program, which was anidea developed by the Norton family.”
“The parents of the 150-plus children chosen at Christmas to be assisted by St. Nick will be given a book, wrapped and chosen for that child,” Schmitz said. “They are instructed to put the book on the bed once the child is asleep so that when they awaken on Christmas morning, it will be their first gift they open and a special gift from St. Nick himself.”
The Norton Cup is sponsored by Standard Bank & Trust Co. who covers all the expenses of the tournament including the lavish hors d’oeuvres and cocktail party during the trophy presentation.
Kelly Beaty, president of Standard Bank’s Southern Division, said: “It has been our pleasure to sponsor the Norton Cup these past three years. Bill and Rosemary Norton, along with their family, have been very generous with their time and financial resources in helping charities here in Grundy County since the mid-1960s.
“Bill’s leadership at the bank has helped thousands of families and businesses purchase homes, start businesses, and help send their children to college during his tenure as a banker. The Norton family will always have a special place in our hearts.”
Operation St. Nick is a 501c-3 nonprofit charity operating in Grundy County only. Besides the Literacy Program, they assist families in need with a new bike program in the spring, help families with children who have fallen on hard times for one reason or another with back-to-school supplies and clothing, and assist military families with special needs and wishes.
During the Christmas season, they purchase toys, clothing and gifts for over 150 children from their own wish lista each Christmas, along with the food they need to enjoy the Holiday season.