The Bobby Joe Mason Memorial Committee was created in 2009 as a means of assisting young people in Centralia, Illinois, Bobby Joe's hometown. An annual memorial golf tournament was established as a major fund-raising activity of the committee.
The proceeds of the tournament, other fund-raisers, and general contributions go toward:
27210 College Road
Centralia, IL 62801
Contact: Cathy Karrick, Director of Public Information
Author: Cathy Karrick
Date: March 7, 2018
Headline: Bobby Joe Mason Foundation Donates Stipend to Area Sports and Youth Organizations
Recipients of the latest round of monetary stipends granted by the Bobby Joe Mason Foundation were recognized during the final home Centralia Orphan basketball game on February 23 at Trout Gym. This was the 9th year that the athletic stipends were given to Centralia Sports and youth organizations by the Bobby Joe Mason Foundation.
According to committee member Bunny Garrett, “Because the annual golf tournament was a great success and we had several major sponsors for this year, the Foundation was able to increase the monetary stipends to organizations as well as a scholarship through the Kaskaskia College Foundation.”
Major sponsors for the golf tournament were Correct Care Solutions - Nashville, TN; Headliner Market Group - Miami, Florida; TEES (Teens Exercising Extraordinary Success) - Miami, Florida and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous from Centralia. Other area sponsors and contributors were Jim Danielwicz, Winning Edge, Centralia High School, Rose Printing, the Centralia Sentinel, several area banks, Scott Smith for his wonderful culinary skills, Kaskaskia College, Dr. Keglar founder of the BJM Foundation; all the hole and cart sponsors and volunteer Larry Nichols who has been with the Foundation since its inception.
"The BJM Foundation continues to promote the legacy of Bobby Joe Mason in that it assists and encourages the young people of the community in their dreams and aspirations and we will continue to support those organizations that work with the youth,” Garrett said.
Those organizations receiving the stipends are: Super Sonic Softball League, headed by Keith Kessler; Centralia Youth Football, headed by Reid Shipley; Centralia Community Youth Center headed by Director Herb Williams; Centralia Community Youth Center Wrestling Team headed by John Pate; Junior Orphans Basketball team headed by B.J. Lamb; and Youth Heat basketball League which is comprised of 4 teams in various age groups and headed by Scott Mass.
The golf tournament, which draws local and out of town participants, was held on August 12, 2017 at the Colonial Golf Course run by its owner Heather Day. The 2018 tournament is scheduled for August 4 at Colonial Golf Course.
Bobby Joe Mason was a four-sport star in football, track and field and basketball at Centralia Township High School. He went on to play basketball at Bradley University, earning his way onto the school's 15 member Team of the Century.
Mason was a U.S. Army veteran and served in Vietnam from 1960-1962.
Professionally he played with the famed Harlem Globetrotters from 1962-1974, playing alongside Meadowlark Lemon, Wilt Chamberlain, Hubert "Geese" Ausbie, Fred "Curly" Neal and Marques Haynes. He took up golf in the later years of his Harlem Globetrotter Days.
After retiring, he made his home in Springfield, serving as director of sports activities for the Springfield Housing Authority, where his interest in young people and their achieving their goals in life continued. Mason died in Springfield on July 4, 2006.
Bobby Joe Mason was an outstanding and gifted athlete, excelling in basketball during his years at Centralia, High School and Bradley University. Mason was the only player who was named to the first team all-tournament team for four years at the Centralia Holiday Tournament. He was also an All American at Bradley University. He went on to play professional basketball with the internationally known Harlem Globetrotters for many years. After his retirement he became an avid golfer putting his time and energy into this sport just as he had into basketball. Mason’s #14 jersey was retired from Centralia High School.
Bobby Joe was a great motivator to young people and was always interested in what they were doing, where they were going, and how they planned to get there. He was an ambassador for young people, mentoring too many in his native Centralia, as well as the Springfield area. After his career ended with the Globetrotters, he returned to Illinois to give back to the community that had supported him throughout his basketball career.
Thanks to proceeds from the annual Bobby Joe Mason Memorial Golf Tournament, this scholarship has been established to assist young people in the Centralia community.
The following criteria were established for this scholarship:
• Applicant must be a full time student in pursuit of a certificate or a degree from Kaskaskia College.
• Applicant must be a graduate of Centralia High School
• Applicant must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in high school or college
• Applicant must submit a typed essay outlining financial need and career goals
• Applicant must submit two letters of recommendation
• This scholarship is for $1,000 and will be credited to the recipients account in the amount of $500 per semester for tuition, books, fees, and supplies purchased through the Kaskaskia College Bookstore and childcare provided by the Kaskaskia College Children’s Learning Center.
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