-

Todd Morgan draws back to drive the cup-flight ball off the tee during the 3rd Annual Moses Clements Emporia Hokie Club Scholarship Golf Tournament at Emporia Country Club.

Moses Clements had to be looking down from heaven with a grin from ear to ear last week when he saw the golf tournament’s turnout bearing his name.

Eighty-eight golfers hit the links for the Virginia Tech scholarship fundraiser for local students. Toward the end of the signup period, prospective golfers had to be turned away.

“It’s a beautiful day, and we have the largest turnout we’ve ever had, including the most hole sponsors,” Tournament Director Barry Grizzard said. “We’ve had the tournament for 20 years, the last three in Moses’ name.”

The Emporia Hokie Club is active in the Emporia-Greensville community. There is no shortage of Virginia Tech alumni or Virginia Tech fans. A new crop of Virginia Tech students from Emporia-Greensville and the surrounding area make their way to Blacksburg every August. Several are beneficiaries of the proceeds of the annual golf tournament in the form of scholarship money.

It was no different this year. The Emporia Hokie Club provided more than $5,000 in scholarship money to students headed to Virginia Tech. There will be no shortage of scholarship money distributed next year with the turnout and support for the 3rd annual Moses Clements Scholarship Tournament.

Many golfers headed to Emporia Country Club with no official ties to Virginia Tech. John Simeon, of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, is a University of North Carolina Greensboro graduate. For one day, he crossed state lines to support the Hokies.

“I’m here to support my good friends Charles and Preston McElheney, who have been with Virginia Tech for years,” Simeon said. “Charles is a graduate and strongly supports Virginia Tech. It means a lot that I can come out here and support Charles and Virginia Tech and share some fellowship.”

Clements graduated from Virginia Tech in 1977 and excelled in all that followed. He operated the Clements’ family farm in Purdy after graduation. In 1983, the J. R. Horsley Water and Soil Conservation Organization named Clements Farmer of the Year.

In 1989 he went to work for Greensville County. Eventually, he rose to the position of assistant director of the Water and Sewer Authority.

On Sept. 23, 2017, Clements succumbed to a long-term battle against ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It did not take long for members of the local chapter of the Hokie Club to rename the golf tournament in his honor. Alexis Jones was on hand at last week’s event to do her part to make the golf tournament successful.

“Moses Clements was one of my dear friends through working as a consultant at Greensville County, and also a neighbor of mine,” she said. “Not only am I a Hokie, but his legacy of happiness, joy and commitment to our community brought me here to volunteer to make this day a success.”

That happened. In fact, it was the most successful golf classic in the history of the event.