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Registration is under way for the inaugural Bob Buckner Endowment Golf Tournament, an event to help raise financial support for a newly created fund in honor of the recently retired longtime director of Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band.

The tournament will be held Friday, June 8, at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville. The entry fee for the four-person, captain’s-choice format event is $100 per player. Cost includes golf, breakfast, buffet lunch, two mulligans and a gift bag. Prizes will be awarded for first through thirdplace teams, and the winning team will receive a traveling trophy to keep for the year.

The Bob Buckner Endowment was announced last fall by WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher. The endowment will be used to provide the Pride of the Mountains with much-needed funds to help with program support and scholarships for student musicians. Buckner, a 1967 graduate of Western Carolina, became director of WCU’s marching band in 1991, helping grow membership in the marching musical ensemble now known as the Pride of the Mountains from fewer than 90 to nearly 400.

During Buckner’s tenure, the band received the 2009 John Philip Sousa Foundation’s prestigious Sudler Trophy, the nation’s highest and most-coveted award for college and university marching bands. Capping his career was a 2011 New Year’s Day appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade by the Pride of the Mountains, which was named “best band” in the parade in an online poll conducted by KTLA-TV of Los Angeles.

Buckner retired this summer after 20 years as director, although he has remained active with the program, now under the leadership of David Starnes.

To register for the tournament, visit the website and click on the Buckner Endowment Golf Tournament link. Sponsorship opportunities also are available.

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