Without support, school would not be able to field teams

Catherine Donovan looked around at the golfers completing a round of competition on a very hot day at the Mark Twain Country Club in Paris and got misty eyed.

“I am grateful so many people turned out,” she said of golfers who played in a charity golf tournament named for late husband.

The Paris Golf Association hosted the Third Annual Mac Donovan Golf Tournament on Sunday, designed to raise money for the Paris High School girls and boys golf teams. Tournament organizer Marie Ebbesmeyer said that 19 teams played, raising more than $6,000 for the teams.

“Our tournament was a huge success. The support from local businesses and community members was outstanding,” Ebbesmeyer said. “This year we had many local golfers, but also many from the surrounding communities. All our funds are used to pay for the expenses to have girls and boys high school golf teams. These expenses include the coach’s salary, greens/tournament fees, some travel expenses, and other supplies/equipment that may be needed.”

She said this year’s tournament raised approximately 80 percent to 90 percent of the money needed to fund the program in a typical year. Prior to that, the golf association has had tournaments to help fund the program since 2010.

In 2010, the Paris Golf Association was formed by parents and community members to raise money needed to fund the Paris High School golf teams. Budget constraints forced the school district to discontinue financial support for golf. The Mac Donovan Foundation was formed two years ago to support youth golf in the Paris community in memory of the late Mr. Donovan’s love for the Mark Twain Country Club and youth sports. He was a lifetime resident of Monroe County, owned and operated Donovan’s Garage for 47 years in Holliday. He served on the country club board for 18 years.

His widow said that Mr. Donovan loved helping young people, often by offering them jobs in his garage

Added his daughter, Nina Kay Milenius: “He never played a day in his life, but he was a huge supporter of youth sports,” she said. “He really wanted to get a high school golf team started not only to benefit the kids but to help the country club. A lot of the tournament’s success comes from the community. They are so supportive of our young athletes.”

In 2017, the Max Donovan Foundation purchased an indoor golf simulator for the team to get a jump start on practice in early spring when the weather was not conducive. Having more practice time helped Paris High School senior Ben Ebbesmeyer to secure a spot to compete at the Missouri State High School Golf Tournament, and the team placed second at districts and competed in sectionals.

Paris High School Senior Amber Chapman contributed to this report.