17 years of golf: Outing tops $100K for scholarships

Kevin Wall said this week his father would likely be surprised to find a golf outing in his name — since he was not a golfer — but it has been a big success in boosting efforts he would undoubtedly support.
The 17th Annual Arthur J. Wall Jr. Golf Outing is set for Friday, Sept. 18, at Whitney Farms Golf Course in Monroe. Registration and breakfast begins at 7:15, with a shotgun start at 8:15. The day concludes with a cocktail hour and reception from 12:30 to 4:30.
Registration is $200 per player; $195 if paid in advance online. Prizes will be awarded for longest drive, closest to pin, and low gross. There will also be a raffle and live auction.
The golf outing raises money for the Arthur J. Wall Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards a $5,000 prize each to a male and female student athlete “who represent the best Wilton High has to offer,” according to the organization. Since its founding in 1999, the scholarship fund has awarded more than $110,000 to 26 Wilton High graduates.
Since 2012 the fund has also helped nonprofits that support the local community and families. Past recipients have been Trackside Teen Center in 2012, Wilton Police Gift Fund in 2013, and the Wilton Youth Council last year. Each has received a $5,000 donation. This year’s recipient will be announced at the golf outing.
The event has been a labor of love for Kevin Wall, who said his father “was never a limelight kind of guy,” but he gave generously to the community and the outing has been a way for the community to give back.
“Dad died in February [1999] and six months later we had our first event,” Wall said. “It’s probably the best way to raise funds and have fun doing it.”
A hundred players showed up that first year, and for the past five or six the number has been steadily more than 130.
When asked what brought the family to Wilton in 1981, Wall said “my dad worked for IBM. We moved every three years. I came here as a 10-year-old and he told us this would be our final move. … I think he went through the areas around here and he liked what he saw in Wilton. I’m not going to disagree with him,” added Wall who lives here with his wife and three children and is the owner of Scoops.
While he was alive, Art Wall Jr. was active in a number of civic organizations including Parks and Recreation, Wilton Chamber of Commerce, Wilton Sports Council and football and lacrosse booster clubs. He and his wife Sue Wall co-chaired Wilton’s first class project — Project ’88 — which put on the first post-graduation party the year Kevin got his diploma.
“He worked for IBM until his death at 59,” Wall said of his father. “That’s the only job he ever had.”

The outing

The golf outing is more than just a gathering of golfers out to hit balls for the day. Many are people who knew Art, some went to school with Kevin and his brothers.
“One thing I will say, we’ve always been blessed with the golfers. It’s well-attended by the dads here in Wilton. To me, that’s the most important thing. It’s a chance to see and hang out with everyone.
“I don’t ever take it for granted. For some of us it’s once a year to get together. It’s something special when you get 130 people you know pretty darn well together.”
The outing has been held at Whitney Farms since its inception. “It’s a public course but it’s in great shape,” Wall said. “It’s good for competitive golfers, good for duffers like me. We roll right off the course into the Stone Barn restaurant for cocktails.”
While the golfers have always been strong in terms of numbers, it’s been harder to get sponsorships, Wall said. “There’s always a live and silent auction and raffle. It is getting harder to generate items for that, but we still have enough to do it and be successful at it.”
While some spots have been taken, there are still several sponsorship opportunities remaining for this year’s golf outing:

  • Tournament Sponsor — $1,500;

  • Cart Sponsor — $650;

  • Putting Green Sponsor — $350;

  • Tee Box Sponsor — $250.

Community support

The primary focus of the golf outing has been to raise money for scholarships, and Wall said “the goal was to build the scholarship fund so we didn’t have to worry about it.” When the fund became “solidified” he looked to broaden the scope to community outreach.
“We decided to share the wealth,” he said. In 2012 the outing began supporting other 501(c)(3) organizations.”

Solo operation

With the outing little more than a month away, Wall has a number of loose ends to tie up. And he does the work himself, saying it’s easier “than explaining it to someone else or having a big committee.”
But come Sept. 18, he will have five to seven volunteers watching holes, selling raffle tickets and driving the beverage cart.
The registration deadline is Sept. 11. To register online, visit ajwallfund.org.
Information: Kevin E. Wall at 203-858-3162 or kwall@ajwallfund.org.