ADA — More than 140 golfers from across North America will convene at Oak Hills Golf and Country Club tomorrow morning for the inaugural Nikki Stonecipher Memorial Scholarship Fund Golf Scramble.

The event is the brainchild of former Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Turpen. Proceeds from the scramble (and accompanying silent auction) will add significantly to a fund established at the East Central University Foundation last summer, following the plane crash that claimed the lives of 11-year-old Nikki Stonecipher and her parents, Brent and Tina Stonecipher.

“Those of us who knew Nikki well, knew she was headed into the sixth grade, but she was already preparing and planning for college,” Turpen said.

“This event is a chance for all of us to pause, reflect and remember — with the Stonecipher and Bowerman families — these precious lives that were lost less than a year ago. In doing so, we’re helping grow a very special scholarship fund that will forever assist college-bound students from this area.”

According to John Long, Pre-Paid Legal vice president of corporate development who has assisted in planning, the event has drawn entrants from all four corners of the continent.

“This community has witnessed a lot of wonderful charitable efforts over the years, but I believe this particular event will be unique for Ada,” he said. “We literally have participants flying in from Florida, California, Illinois, Colorado and points beyond. They just all want to be here to be a part of this effort.

“The field will be comprised of many local friends, sales associates, provider lawyers, several employees, and vendors.”

The scramble was designed to allow three-person teams to bid on a celebrity player to complete their foursome. A few celebrities participating include: NFL Hall of Famer and business entrepreneur Fran Tarkenton; State of Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson; State Representative Jari Askins; Bank of Oklahoma Vice Chairman and TV personality Burns Hargis; Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan; as well as several Pre-Paid Legal provider attorneys and many top money earners who market the Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. product.

In addition to the golf scramble, Long said a silent auction will likely add thousands of dollars to the scholarship fund.

“The range of items being auctioned is really unbelievable,” Long said. “A limited edition lithograph of Brett Favre was donated by our sales associates in Wisconsin; our Ontario associates have made available a black bear hunt; Florida has offered a seven-day vacation in an ocean-side condo; Oklahoma has offered a professionally-guided fishing trip to Lake Texoma. The list goes on and on. Its fun and, better yet, it’s raising a lot of money for Nikki’s fund.”

Long said Pre-Paid Legal’s own Linda Townsend has worked in concert with Georgia Regional Vice President Gayle Serba in orchestrating the silent auction (which concludes at noon Monday).

The first recipient of the Nikki Stonecipher Memorial Scholarship will be honored at Tupelo High School’s commencement exercises on May 12. Harland Stonecipher will deliver the commencement address at this event.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the fund can do so by contacting the ECU Foundation at (580) 310-5514.

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