Tournament Highlights Vendors FORE Education

Event raises scholarship funding for university business students, women golfers.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Golfers from across Northwest Arkansas raised $70,000 to support students at the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Program through the Vendors FORE Education golf tournament held Friday, July 15.

The tournament, sponsored by Walmart vendors, was held at Stonebridge Meadows Golf Club in Fayetteville. Walton College’s Center for Retailing Excellence, working in partnership with Erik Wolff of E-Wolff Sales Solutions and Russ Heithoff of Strategic Retail Solutions, hosts the tournament each year. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the tournament. In celebration of this milestone year, Vendors FORE Education held a special prize drawing for a 1997 30th anniversary edition Chevy Camaro convertible.

The event raises money for the Razorback women’s golf program and the Center for Retailing Excellence to provide support for students who may have missed out on other financial aid opportunities.

The tournament began in 1996 as a social gathering for the vendor community and a way to build business relationships. The group realized the event could provide financial assistance for university students who have the potential to become retail industry leaders. A primary mission of the tournament is to foster relationships between industry and academia.

“The Vendors FORE Education student support tournament has distributed nearly $350,000 in financial aid to students since its association with the Center for Retailing Excellence began,” said Pamela Styles, the center’s associate director. “Additionally, it has provided $80,000 in support to the women’s golf team.”

Title sponsors for 2016 include Anderson Merchandisers, Atkins Nutritionals, ATLAS Technology Group, Bar-S Foods, Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care Division, CaseStack, Irwin Naturals, Land O’Frost, Popcornopolis, Hunter & Michaels and Tyson Foods/Hillshire Farms.

Each year’s tournament is a four-person scramble with prizes awarded to the top teams and additional prizes for closest to the pin and other contests.

“This partnership between the Center for Retailing Excellence and the women’s golf team has allowed the vendor community to see that our women athletes excel both academically and athletically,” Styles said. “”The event is often described as one of the most enjoyable days of social networking where everyone is a winner, especially the students.”

The Center for Retailing Excellence was established in the Walton College in 1998 with a portion of the $50 million endowment from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.