Ross Funderburke thought he was dressing up to have lunch with his grandmother.
Hidden Valley’s Funderburke Awarded $30K Don Holliday Memorial Scholarship
Instead, he walked into the ballroom at Roanoke Country Club to pick up $30,000.
In the annual tradition of surprising its recipient, the Don Holliday Memorial Scholarship Tournament Board of Directors introduced Funderburke Wednesday morning as the 33rd recipient of the Don Holliday Memorial Scholarship.
Board members, friends, media and others in the golfing community watched anxiously out the ballroom windows for his arrival for the 11 a.m. announcement.
Sorry, Ross, lunch isn’t ready.
“I had no idea,” Funderburke said of the carefully orchestrated diversion. “I was told I was going to lunch with my grandmother, my sister and family. Then I walked in here and, wow!”
Funderburke definitely had the resume to take this year’s award. He ranked first in his class at Hidden Valley High School with a 4.2 GPA, and was a member of the Titan Beta Club and National English Honor Society. He was also a volunteer at the Rescue Mission as well as a member of the First Tee of Roanoke Valley and Cave Spring Baptist Church.
He was a member of the Hidden Valley golf team for four years, the current Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame Boys Player of the Year and a member of the Hall of Fame’s All-Metro Team. As the captain of the Hidden Valley team last season, Funderburke had an exceptional year, especially in the opening pair of tournaments that have kicked off the high school golf season for years.
“I won the Heritage Tournament at London Downs by 7 shots and a few days later won the Bob McLelland Metro by one shot,” Funderburke noted. “They were definitely my biggest golf accomplishments.”
Funderburke will attend Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina this fall where he plans to play on the Paladin golf team. The Holliday Scholarship has a major impact.
“It costs $60,000 per year to attend Furman,” Funderburke pointed out. “This is huge. Playing golf and giving back to the community has paid dividends. This is special and I hope it will encourage more Hidden Valley students to play golf and see what’s out there.”
Funderburks was the first Holliday winner from Hidden Valley.
The Don Holliday Memorial Foundation was formed in 1986 to honor the memory of Don Holliday, District Sales Manager of Piedmont Airlines. The first Don Holliday Memorial Golf Tournament took place in June, 1987 with the proceeds going to the scholarship fund for the past 33 years.
The tournament has grown to one of the top charity events in the state, having awarded over $400,000 in scholarships. The scholarship is administered by the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame, which each year awards a 4-year, $30,000 scholarship to a deserving boy or girl from Southwest Virginia who also has an interest in golf.
“We began 33 years ago with a $2,000 scholarship and it has grown to $30,000,” Holliday Board member Justin Ditmore told the gathering Wednesday. “This year’s Memorial Golf Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 22 at Roanoke Country Club.”