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The first-ever Virgil Taylor Memorial Golf Tournament on June 10 [FRIDAY] in Oklahoma City will kick off efforts to raise money for a scholarship in Taylor's name at East Central University in Ada.

The scholarship will aid undergraduate students at ECU who are pursuing a career in vocational rehabilitation counseling. Taylor, a 1970 graduate of ECU, died in 2008 after a 33-year career in rehabilitation services.

The tournament will have a shotgun start at 1 p.m. at The Golf Club at Surrey Hills, 11340 Surrey Hills Blvd. in Oklahoma City. Prizes will be awarded to the first- through third-place teams.

Several sponsorships are available, from $100 to $2,500. The team entry fee of $300 and the player entry fee of $75 can be paid at the tournament. The entry fee includes lunch, green fees, practice balls and a cart.

To register, or for more information, e-mail or call 405-951-3579.

The Oklahoma Rehabilitation Association and the Oklahoma Rehabilitation Council are spearheading the effort for the scholarship which will be established through the East Central University Foundation Inc.

"Virgil Taylor embraced the rehabilitation philosophy and dedicated his life to helping people with disabilities," said Dr. Michael O'Brien, director of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services. "East Central University held a special place in his heart and it is in his memory this fund is dedicated."

Taylor's mission in life, O'Brien said, was to help prepare and equip persons with disabilities to re-enter the job market in positions that would enhance their lifestyles.

He earned lifetime achievement awards with both the Division of Visual Services and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, a rare occurrence, DRS officials said.

Taylor graduated from Asher High School in 1965. He married Sharyn Sharp in 1968 before he graduated from ECU in 1970. They lived in Idabel for 13 years before moving to Owasso with their two children in 1989.

Taylor also earned a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling from Oklahoma State University in 1975.

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