By STEVE KNIGHT/The Lufkin News
Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau Board members on Thursday approved $7,000 in sponsorship packages for various sports tournaments scheduled for spring and summer.
Board members approved sponsorships for several Lufkin Parks and Recreation Department-hosted events, including $3,000 for the Mizuno tournament, scheduled for April 25-26 at Kit McConnico Park, $500 for the American Softball Association girls ages 10-14 state tournament June 12-14, $2,000 for the Miken Summer Sizzler youth softball tournament in August and $500 for the disc golf tournament at Morris Frank Park in May.
Officials at the parks department said they anticipate that more than 40 teams will take part in the Mizuno tournament in four age divisions, 40 teams for the ASA tournament and 20 teams for the Summer Sizzler tournament.
The sponsorships would fund awards package for players, including bat bags, batting gloves, T-shirts and travel bags.
“We try to watch every dime that we spend and make sure we’re using it the way hotel and motel tax should be used,” said Tara Watson-Watkins, executive director of the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau. “When we give a sponsorship for an event like the Mizuno tournament, we know there’s a direct correlation between the money that’s spent and putting more heads back in beds. It’s a perfect partnership, and we’re proud of the sports facilities that we have in Lufkin. We love bringing people from outside the community to see what we have so they will come back to visit.”
Disc golf tournament participants would receive T-shirts, koozies, towels and discs, while winning teams would get trophies and top-of-the-line discs. About 70 players participated in last year’s inaugural disc golf tournament.
A $1,000 sponsorship was earmarked for a baseball tournament for 5- to 8-year olds, to be held sometime in June.
Parks officials anticipate 12 to 20 teams spending one or two nights in motels with eight to 10 rooms per team at each of the upcoming tournaments.