Golf tournament benefits MEOC’s Mountain Laurel Center

The 12th Annual Harold Lester Memorial Golf Tournament raised about $12,500 to assist local cancer patients and their families.

The June 16 event at Lonesome Pine Country Club in Big Stone Gap benefited the Harold Lester Memorial Fund of the Mountain Laurel Cancer Support and Resource Center. Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., the local Area Agency on Aging serving Lee, Scott, and Wise counties and the City of Norton, operates the center. Nineteen teams participated in the tournament.

“The tournament proceeds will directly benefit local cancer patients in our local communities,” said MEOC Director of Wellness and Insurance Counseling Tiffany Jacobs, who organizes the event with the Lester family.

“Facing a cancer diagnosis can come with financial hardships. The fund helps cancer patients of all ages meet unexpected needs not addressed by other cancer resources. Some examples are cancer-related travel costs, purchase of liquid nutrition supplements such as Ensure, construction of wheel-chair ramps, and assistance with utility costs,” Jacobs said.

MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler expressed appreciation to the tournament sponsors, the teams who participated and others who helped in any way. “We are especially thankful for the Lester family’s longtime support of the Mountain Laurel Center. Their generous contributions help cancer patients throughout MEOC’s service area,” noted MEOC Director Michael Wampler.

The Harold Lester Memorial Fund was established in 2011 by MEOC and Mr. Lester’s family to honor his legacy of giving after he lost his battle with cancer. Those who knew Mr. Lester remember a man with a strong Christian faith and a belief that one needs to care for family, neighbors, friends and those in need. Mr. Lester assisted thousands during his lifetime, much of which was spent working with children and their families through the Wise County School System, where he was a teacher, coach and administrator for over three decades. He was the director of secondary education at the time of his retirement.

Donations of any amount to the Harold Lester Memorial Fund are always appreciated. Make an online contribution at or mail your donation to P.O. Box 888, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Contact Jacobs at (276) 523-4202 to learn more about MLCC.