The Rudolph Canzater Memorial Classic is the recipient of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s 2012 Charles A. Bundy Award for contributions to rural tourism. The James E. Clyburn Research and Scholarship Foundation hosts the annual Canzater Classic the first weekend in August in Santee, South Carolina. The event has contributed over $2 million in college aid to more than 1,000 students during its 21-year history.
Recently, the two-day golf tournament has attracted around 600 golfers each year who play on six local area courses. The golfers fill up area hotels and contribute to the local economy by patronizing restaurants, gas stations and other stores in the area.
In presenting the award at the annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism & Travel, Duane Parrish, the Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism said, “the Canzater Classic has done an exemplary job of doing just what the Bundy Award was created to recognize – success at raising awareness and bringing attention and visitors to one of South Carolina’s rural communities.”
Mary Shriner, the Executive Director of Santee Cooper Counties Promotion Commission, says the Canzater Classic is the largest annual event in eastern Orangeburg County, but that wasn’t the only reason she nominated it for the Bundy Award.
“I believe the Canzater Classic deserves this recognition for its wide-ranging impact,” Ms. Shriner said. “Not only does the weekend have a tremendous economic impact on Santee and the surrounding areas, but it also benefits the community through the scholarships that are awarded and the health fair that is associated with the event.”
Jim Clyburn, who is the Sixth District Congressman, added the Ollie Johnson I-95 Corridor Health Fair to the Canzater Classic weekend in 2004. This event provides free health screenings to residents along the I-95 corridor, many of whom don’t have access to preventive health care.
Congressman Clyburn founded the golf tournament with his golfing buddies over 30-years ago to combine their love of the sport and their desire to help young people with their educational pursuits. It was renamed in honor of Rudolph Canzater after his untimely death in 1988.
“The year we began, I had to write a $400 check to cover the cost of the five $100 scholarships we wanted to award,” Congressman Clyburn recalls will a laugh. “Many things have changed over the years – the other founders like Rudolph Canzater, Ollie Johnson, and Milton Greene have passed away, and we have given more college aid than we could have imagined in our wildest dreams. But one thing won’t change, as long as I am able to continue this effort, I am committed to keeping the Canzater Classic in Santee to help give back to a community I love dearly.”
The 22nd annual Rudolph Canzater Classic is scheduled to be held in Santee on August 3-5, 2012.