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Angola pro-am helps JA operate

– Thirty-two female players on professional golf’s second tier are participating in the annual Junior Achievement Pro-Am Invitational at Glendarin Hills Golf Club today.

The annual event in Angola raises money each year to ensure the JA program has adequate funds to continue in Steuben and east-central DeKalb County school systems.

The Junior Achievement program reaches tens of thousands of students, kindergarten through high school, each year in the 25 counties comprising the Northeastern Indiana region. The program reaches more than 6,000 students in Steuben and east-central DeKalb counties, alone.

Monday night’s Pairing Party of the Pro-Am Invite featured a variety of celebrations to commemorate the 10th year of the event and announcements of the 32 team pairings for today’s 18-hole round.

Each pairing features a professional female golfer who happens to be between stops on the Symetra Tour.

This tour is just below the LPGA Tour and if the players play well on the Symetra Tour, they have a chance to play on the LPGA Tour.

“We had all heard about the charity event from a few of the other players, and we thought it was a good idea,” professional Nathalie Mansson said.

“We were already traveling through the area,” Isabelle Boineau said. “The other tour stop does not start until this weekend.”

The previous stop on the Symetra Tour was the Decatur-Forsyth Classic in Decatur, Ill.. That event ended Sunday.

The tour’s next stop is this weekend at the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend.

According to JA Board member Jeff Bell, there is a better field in year’s event. Proceeds for the organization are expected to top last year’s, as well, with the estimations amounting to at least $20,000.

In addition to registration fees, proceeds for JA at the Angola-based event are coming from silent auction items, raffle tickets and personal and corporate donations.

Today’s 18-hole rounds begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day. Admission is free.