Golf Outing Will Honor Beloved Neptune Teacher

 

coaster-news-200-newBy CHRIS CHRISTOPHER

It’s a most fitting way for William E. Pullen Jr. to be remembered.

The fourth annual William E. Pullen Jr. Scholarship Fund Golf Outing will take place Mon., Oct. 12 at the Spring Meadow Golf Course in Farmingdale.

“He was an avid golfer,” said his widow, Bertha L. Williams, the assistant superintendent of schools in the Neptune School District. “He loved it. Each time he could get out on a golf course, that’s where he was.”

Williams said she will take a couple of swings in honor of Pullen Jr.

“I call myself a dysfunctional golfer,” she said with a hearty laugh. “I am not serious about golf at all even though Bill tried to get me to that point. He never got me out on a golf course. I golf once a year and that’s during this outing.”

The Fund was established to benefit a graduating Neptune High School student pursuing a degree in education. Pullen Jr. was an educator and administrator in the Neptune School District for 40 years.

Pullen Jr. taught social studies, computer technology and black history and served as the director of guidance at Neptune High School. He was also an assistant boys and girls basketball coach for the Scarlet Fliers. Williams said he died suddenly of a heart attack Dec. 10, 2010 at the age of 61.

“When he died, so many students wrote things on Facebook about Bill,” Williams said. “His students talked about how he made them feel special. They said he made them feel they had something good to give to everyone. When I saw those things on Facebook, I said, ‘Those kids really knew the essence of this man. He had such a giving heart. His main purpose on this Earth was to help our students in Neptune do what they needed to do and get what they needed to become successful people.’

“Whenever we went out to dinner around town, people would say, ‘Mr. Pullen, I remember how you said such and such a thing.’ That made me think about what we needed to do to honor his memory. I knew he had touched these students in some way.”

Williams said the event raised nearly $4,000 in its first year.

“People said, ‘Let’s do this every year,’ ” she said. “We have awarded nearly $8,000 to students in the last three years.”

The outing includes registration and continental breakfast at 8 a.m., a 9 a.m. shotgun start and lunch, prizes and a cocktail reception at 2 p.m. The 18-hole package includes greens fee, golf cart, continental breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception. The fee for an individual golfer is $150. A foursome entry goes for $600. Foursome and sponsorship are $700. The entry fee for each golfer includes a tax-deductible donation to the William E. Pullen Jr. Scholarship Fund.

Registration for the event and all fees must be received by Oct. 1. The outing is limited to the first 125 golfers.

There will be contests, including Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive. Raffle tickets will be on sale at registration and on the course during play. Those who do not register as part of a foursome will be randomly paired with other golfers to create a foursome. Non-players can attend lunch and the reception for $50 per person. Donations will be accepted from those who are unable to attend the outing.

Make checks payable to William E. Pullen Jr. Scholarship Fund. Write “golf outing” in the memo line. Mail checks to William Pullen Golf Outing, 51 Garden Ave., Brick, 08724. For more information, contact either Dick Cottrell at 732 458-3383 (dickcottrell@hotmail.com) or Andrew Cottrell at 732 581-6702 (awcottrell@gmail.com).

“I am sure Bill is smiling,” Williams said. “We have had a good weather day on each day of the event–no rain, no cold. It’s a good day for people as we have sponsors who donate gifts for the raffle.”

The Neptune golf team will participate.

“That is really great,” Williams said. “We have had at least one foursome of students in the past. We want either two or three foursomes of students if we can get people to sponsor them. This event gives our golfers the chance to play at another course. Neptune’s home course is Jumping Brook (in Neptune), a fantastic course and one of the best courses around.”

Formerly Neptune’s cheerleading coach, Williams was married to Pullen Jr. for 10 years.

“We knew each other for 30 years,” she said. “This is a good time for people to remember a great man and have so much fun. There is no pressure on anyone to play well. Everyone takes their time and has fun.”

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