4th Street donates $16K from annual golf tournament to Petal nonprofit

Record proceeds from 13th annual 4th Street Classic donated to Addison's Light
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 7:42 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2023 at 7:49 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Addison’s Light founder Melissa Morgan said she had a tough time keeping composed Wednesday afternoon while being presented with the largest ever contribution from the proceeds raised during the recent 13th annual 4th Street Classic.

Flanked by representatives of some of the sponsors of the annual golf tournament, 4th Street Bar and Grill owner Slade White presented Morgan with a check for $16,402 in support of her organization, Addison’s Light.

“Overwhelmed,” Morgan said. “I was not expecting that much, but I’m thankful, and it will be put to good use.

“I can tell you it will benefit a lot of young people.”

Morgan, who spent more than two-and-a-half decades as a counselor in the Petal School District, established the non-profit in memory of her adopted daughter, Addison, who died in a 2019 car accident.

The organization Morgan founded covers a range of outreach, involvement and service, reflecting the interests and faith of her 10-year-old daughter.

“We knew what we wanted to name it because you heard it so often that she just lit up a room when she came in,” Morgan said.

Addison’s Light has helped provide scholarships for show choirs, provided school supplies, teamed with Homes of Hope on art projects and helped establish social clubs that serve the public.

It’s the kind of nonprofit that appeals as recipients of the tournament’s donations: local, service-oriented and usually suggested by the establishment’s patrons.

“We’re part of the community, so when we can, we help out somebody who needs it,” White said. “It’s not looking for any publicity. It’s just us trying to help out because we have the means and the way to do it.

“This year was a little bit special to us. I was referred to this charity by a friend of mine, and after really looking it over, realized they could really use the money this year.”

The Classic has been staged in its current form since 2009, with the exception of a year lost to COVID-19.

First greenlighted by the business’s former owners, Mike and Gale Walker, the tournament has been overseen since by 4th Street general manager Chad Boudreaux. The outing has been staged primarily at Shadow Ridge Golf Course in Hattiesburg, mostly during the fall.

The Classic boasts seven “major” sponsors, including Stokes Distributing, Play It Again Sports, Toyota of Hattiesburg, ATM Investments, SPM Energy Services, Jim Thompson and Regional Homes.

“It’s just such a good cause,” said Toyota of Hattiesburg sales manager Brandon Tisdale. “Everybody’s for the community, Slade, Boodie., they do such a good job, and giving to a local charity, we’re just glad to be a part of it.”

Beneficiaries are rotated annually.

“We’ve been there the whole time, and how could you not want to be,” said Cory Dossett, Stokes Distributing on-premise supervisor. “You’ve got two good people working really hard and putting it all together, loyal customers supporting it and it’s a good cause.

“We want to take care of them.”

The first year, the event raised $1,200 and featured 43 participants.

Last year, the event cracked the $10,000 mark for the first time. This year’s tournament on Sept. 24 featured a full field of 108 golfers and soared past the previous record-high raised by about 60 percent.

“We know a lot of the people who are putting the tournament on every year and we’ve gotten to know some of the charities,” said Junior Shows, Play It Again Sports manager. “It’s just a great thing for the community and for us to be involved with.

The champion team consisted of Alan Howe, Jennifer Howe and Dalton Howe.

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