The inaugural golf tournament will help continue the ministerial work of the Wesley Student Center serving Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami.

MIAMI – The Board of the Wesley Student Center serving Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College students has announced its first annual NEO Wesley Golf Tournament.

The fundraising event will be hosted at the Peoria Ridge Golf Course located at 10301 S 600 Rd in Miami Monday, Oct. 16. Practice and registration open at 8 a.m. followed by a shotgun start of the tournament at 9 a.m.

An alternate date of Oct. 23 has been set in the event of inclement weather.

Area churches, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to participate along with community members for a day of sport to benefit Wesley. Registration costs per four-person team are $300, and individual registrations are also welcome for $75. Costs include green fees, carts, lunch and a chance at prizes.

"We promise a day filled with fun, competition, and fellowship that revolves around a theme of 'making disciples' through our ministry at NEO," said NEO Wesley director Donni Long. "We are in this together and so appreciate your support in our service to the students at NEO."

Long said corporate sponsorships are available at the following levels:

Platinum: $1,000 (includes team fee) Gold: $500 Silver: $250 Bronze: $100

All sponsors will receive a professional sign by Allen Sign on a tee box or by the clubhouse, acknowledgment in the tournament bulletin, at the awards ceremony, and in the Wesley newsletter.

For more information on corporate sponsorships and to register call 918-919-2080.

About Wesley

Located at 117 I St NE in Miami across from the NEO campus is the Wesley Student Center, a United Methodist Ministry.

On a typical day, students gather together to socialize, spend quiet time and each afternoon come together for a lunch meal where they eat, pray, and have a special devotion and discussion.

The Center has started this fall with an average of 25 students for lunches and up to 32 for worship services.

"The Wesley is a place students come, Christian or not, without judgment or shame. We welcome everyone to our home away from home,” said Rebecca, a second year Wesley intern.

Long described Wesley as a place where students could relax between classes and seek refuge from the daily grind of college life.

"Students leave the Center refreshed and fortified, ready to face the challenges of student life," said Long. "As Director of the Wesley, I hear this same sentiment over and over from students – the importance of our ministry through the gospel witness of generous hospitality. This is the key reason they feel comfortable and continue to enjoy their time at the Wesley."

Long added that over her three years as the Center's director she has had the opportunity to provide all levels of pastoral care to NEO student.

"I have had the opportunity to counsel with students in just about every situation, from stresses of classes and grades to homesickness, the loss of parents and rape and marriages and new births," said Long. "Students need a place of respite, a listening ear, and heartfelt prayers."

The Center offers a host of activities and worship services throughout the week and on Sundays.

Gatherings such as "Paint & Praise," put a creative spin on faith-based activities. Students come together to listen to Christian themed music and allow themselves to be inspired to create original works of art.

Game nights, cookouts, a modest library and arts and crafts are also available to students.

"I started coming to the Wesley as an escape, a place to hide or run away from reality, a place to get away when things were stressful. However, it became a second home," said S.C., a current NEO student. "The Wesley is doing God's work! Donni is helping people understand and become one with God."

Dorothy Ballard is the managing news editor of the Miami News-Record. Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @dm_ballard.