For almost the last 10 years people have seen the Youth Villa Classic golf trophy in the Bartow Golf Club’s pro shop shining every day because of one man. That is Joe Kincaid.
Once a week during most of the year, Kincaid, 85, of Bartow, shines the trophy. When it gets closer to tournament time it takes a little more elbow grease.
“I hit it about two or three times week about a week or two before the tournament,” he said.
It now is in that two-week period.
Kincaid said he got started on shining the trophy because Cecil Wood, who works at the golf course, asked him if he could do it one day and it just stuck.
“Cecil asked to shine it one time and I like doing things around here,” Kincaid said, adding he doesn’t rub too much oil on it, uses a soft cloth because it’s important to keep it looking good, especially with what the trophy means.
“What this is for is a big thing,” Kincaid said. “Anything anyone can do to support (the Youth Ranch) and help the tournament is a big deal.”
While Kincaid has been shining the trophy on his own accord for the last decade, he threatened to give it up six years ago, sort of.
“I told Tiger Godwin in 2008 when he won that if you don’t win this thing I’m not going to shine it anymore,” Kincaid said. “I’m still shining it.”
Godwin, who no longer plays in the tournament because he is professional, won in 2008 with a 208 on the 54-hole affair.
About the tournament
The 51st Annual Youth Villa Classic Golf Tournament takes place May 20-26. The proceeds from the tournament go to the Youth Villa, located on State Road 60 and helps supply the Villa with needs, said one of the organizers, Karen Guffey.
The week-long event has a girls tournament, sponsors scramble and the three-day tournament for the big trophy. And although the winner can’t hold the trophy for the winning picture because it probably weighs more than a full golf bag and is a lot bigger, it will be shining brightly in the sun.
This year 120 golfers have signed up for the tournament. She said there are a lot of championship players out there this year. There are 10 sponsors and if people still want to a sponsorship position, Guffey said, they are willing to accept it.
“If someone wants to help with $2,500, we’ll take it,” she said. Last year, the girls tournament alone raised $6,000, Guffey said. She added that the total amount of money the tournament raises stays local and goes directly the Youth Villa. Last year more than $30,000 was raised in the golf tournament.
Guffey said the effort that goes into preparing this kind of event every year shows the dedication to the people of the area to step up when something is important. One example she used is the annual luncheon on Wednesday is being catered by Curly Tails and they are providing the service for free.
“The message is yes, this is a golf tournament but more than that it shows this is really a great place to live,” she said. “People will step up to the plate to help.”
About Youth Villa
The Youth Villa is part of a state organization that prevents juvenile delinquency and helps in the development of children. This one is dedicated to girls only. The service it provides helps the children and families and has counseling, family life education, foster care and more to help at-risk children.
What do the proceeds raised go toward?
In the past, funds have been used to purchase ceiling fans for the Villa residences, picnic tables and similar items. Funds also are directed for the girls themselves. This year they were able to get prom tickets for the residents as well as purchase shoes, gowns and corsages, as well as get their nails done.
“The tickets (for the prom) alone are $60,” Guffey said. “That’s something their families don’t necessarily have.”
Money is used for other related activities, such as enabling the girls to buy high school yearbooks and tickets for other social events.
“It is important for them to feel like this. They’ll never get this time back,” she said.
Whether or not that kind of money can be raised this year is not known, but it could come close to last year’s total. And the Villa needs it, Guffey said. She cited roof work needs to be done, as one example.