COPPERAS COVE — With the nation’s literacy programs on the decline, Altrusa International Inc. of Copperas Cove hosted the 12th annual Fall Golf Classic at the Hills of Cove Golf Course on Saturday to raise awareness.

Ten teams teed off at 8 a.m. on a four-person scramble playing 18 holes for the chance to win a prize.

“We like to get out with friends and play golf but also help Altrusa raise money for their charitable work,” golfer Jim Rudd said.

Kipp Miller said the event focuses on socialization, friendship and support to build a better community.

“With the situation of the economy today, it’s hard to raise money and do our projects so it’s going to take a community effort to help each other.”

Bob Freyer, a regular tournament player, admitted that community involvement, while necessary, is not always carried out.

“I think there should be more people here, support-wise. It’s for our own good and I can’t understand why people don’t (participate).”

The annual tournament helps raise money to promote literacy and keep students from falling behind in reading and comprehension, said Inez Faison, a Copperas Cove Independent School District board member and former Altrusa president.

“This event will get books into kid’s hands and give every child, no matter their circumstance, the same education across the board.”

Last year, the federal program Reading is Fundamental was defunded and seriously impacted Altrusa’s literacy programs and partnerships, said Gail Prestigiacomo, tournament co-chairman.

“Unfortunately when that federal funding went away, we had to figure out ways to encourage Copperas Cove ISD to maybe donate some money, as well as other partners in the Cove area, to help us,” she said.

As of Saturday morning, the tournament raised more than $6,000 from participants, sponsor donations and registration fees.

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