PITTSBORO — Schools of the Arts for Boys Academy hosted a golf tournament on March 20 to fundraise for its fall 2021 opening. With 70 golfers out of 72 registered — despite the cold …
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PITTSBORO — Schools of the Arts for Boys Academy hosted a golf tournament on March 20 to fundraise for its fall 2021 opening. With 70 golfers out of 72 registered — despite the cold temperatures —the tournament was “a huge success,” said SABA founder Valencia Toomer.
“Everyone had tons of fun and positive energy in the process,” Toomer said, adding that Chapel Ridge Golf Club said the SABA tournament was the largest they’ve hosted in more than three years.
SABA, which was officially approved to operate as a public charter school in February, focuses on using the arts and culturally responsive teaching to close the achievement gap and empower Black and brown boys.
Though the school will receive federal and district funds, it will also depend on grants and donations to help provide creative learning and meet accessibility goals such as providing free meals to all students during the school day. The Chapel Ridge golf tournament was its first official fundraising effort; there was a $100 entry fee and all of the money earned went directly to SABA.
“The golfers were there to compete in a tournament,” she said. “However, it was evident they had a greater mission; to support the vision of building SABA Kings. Their commitment was sincerely appreciated.”
Competitors traveled as far as from Texas, Mississippi and Ohio to play, Toomer said, adding that she looks forward to working with Chapel Ridge as the fundraiser’s yearly host.
Cedric Price, SABA's Development Officer, led much of the inaugural tournament’s planning, including garnering support from the local community and surrounding colleges and universities, friends and family to provide raffle items — including a new Callaway Epic Driver, Cleveland RTX Zipcore 56 Wedge, Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl Jersey and autographed Cowboys, Packers and Steelers helmets.
“The tournament was a great show of unity, diversity and comradery,” Toomer said.
The school’s enrollment began in January and will go through April, and uses a weighted lottery for admission — meaning students with various education disadvantages are given extra weight, or consideration, for acceptance. There are no fees to attend, and Toomer said the school anticipates about 60% of its population will qualify for free and reduced lunch. The lottery also gives extra weight to siblings of those accepted.
SABA is set to open in August with 116 boys in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade — with plans to add a grade level each subsequent year to eventually reach the 12th grade. The school will host a live lottery for admission on May 3, with the time and location published on SABA’s website at least two weeks before the lottery.
The success evident at the tournament brings SABA one step closer to enrolling its first class of students, and then opening its doors next August.
“Overall, for our very first major fundraising effort,” Toomer said of the tournament, “we met our goals and are extremely pleased with the support and love that was shown to SABA.”