More than 20 “freedom shrines” stand tall at government buildings and public schools throughout Copperas Cove and money is needed to maintain these historical monuments.

The Exchange Club’s annual golf tournament is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, and helps fund the shrines and other community projects.

In its 15th year, the tournament, scheduled Oct. 12, is expected to raise $8,000, said Mark Peterson, the Morning Exchange Club’s golf tournament chairman.

“We’re about halfway to our goal for hole sponsors, which generates the majority of the profit from the tournament,” Peterson said.

Each shrine costs $750 to erect and contains 19 important documents in the nation’s history. The documents include replicas of the United States Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Truman Doctrine and the Bill of Rights were selected from the Freedom Train, which rolled through Texas in 1947.

The purpose is to instill American pride in the general public. The Exchange Club allocates a large portion of its operating budget to maintain these monuments.

“If we don’t reach our goal, we will have to cut some of the community projects that we fund,” Jim Rudd, a volunteer with the tournament said. “Our budget depends on this golf tournament.”

Last year, the tournament had 77 hole sponsors and has only 57 this year.

A hole sponsorship costs $100 and includes a sign with the sponsoring company’s name at the tee box and inclusion in a newspaper advertisement following the tournament.

In addition to the Freedom Shrines, the Exchange Club also spends a large portion of its budget on child abuse awareness. Every April it donates three $1,000 college scholarships and purchases flags to hand out to every spectator at three community parades each year.

“If we have any funds remaining, we will use them to do another (infant) car seat exchange to save the lives of children in our community,” Peterson said.

For more information regarding the tournament, contact the Exchange Club at 254-542-2817 or

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