LAURINBURG — A girls’ softball tournament held today will help make Christmas brighter for underprivileged children in the Scotland County area.
The Top Gun Sports Tournament will include 17 teams of girls aged 10 to 14 from all over North Carolina and South Carolina at the James L. Morgan Recreation Complex on Turnpike Road from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The entrance fee is $4 for children and $6 for adults. Most of the proceeds will go toward Shop with a Cop, a program coordinated by the Laurinburg Police Department to buy Christmas presents for needy children.
“Other than the cost of the tournament, the profits will be turned over to Shop with a Cop,” said Lt. Kris Singletary with the the Laurinburg Police Department. “There are fees that have to be covered such as trophies and to pay the umpires, but anything over the cost of the tournament is profit for the program.”
A check will be presented to Laurinburg Police Chief Darwin Williams. Money will be raised through entry fees and police officers will be selling refreshments to generate additional funds for the cause.
Beneficiaries of the Shop with a Cop program will be selected through local churches and the Scotland County Department of Social Services.
“The children will actually go with one of the officers to go Christmas shopping,” Singletary said. “The chief will decide who will go and there will be a predetermined amount that each child will be able to spend.”
The tournament will bring in about 170 girls, which will benefit more than just the children in need, according to Singletary.
“We’re talking about 17 teams coming to the Laurinburg area and so we are not only bringing in the teams to help us, but all these girls and their families are going to go somewhere and eat,” he said. “It’s going to bring business into the community, so it’s a good thing all the way around.”
This is the first year the tournament will be held in Scotland County, but the officers hope to expand the event.
“Next year we’re hoping to turn this thing into a two day tournament instead of one,” he said. “Now you’re talking about people coming in, spending the night in hotels, getting lunch, dinner and breakfast and it would benefit the whole community.”
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.