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Domino tourney gets a boost

The names and owners may change, but not everything else always does. When GTE ownership passed to Verizon, and then again to CenturyTel last year, some faces changed, some rules changed, but the commitment to the community remained. Like its predecessor, GTE, CenturyTel has become the principal sponsor for the Andalusia Rotary Club's World Championship Domino Tournament.

"Orby Parker was the district manager for GTE and was in the Rotary Club," said Sharon Lucas Owens, the area plant supervisor for CentruyTel. "He was the one who first got us involved."

The involvement came with advertising perks -

CentruyTel , like its predecessor, will have its name and logo on the backs of the official tournament dominos, as well as a full page in the program and a banner at the tournament.

"We had GTE involved before," said Dr. Charles Tomberlin, co-chairman of the event with David Darby. "They used to take the ad on the back of the program. We talked to Verizon later, but they were in the process of being sold. We approached CenturyTel about it, and they liked the idea."

"I started working a few months ago trying to get the money from the public affairs office and they approved it," said Owens, who added that she was excited by being able to present a check for $10,000 to the Rotary Club for the five-year contract.

"They do more than just a contract (for advertising)," said Tomberlin, who said GTE also had a five-year contract. "They become sponsors. They help in future years. In addition to the

advertising, they will also give $1,500 a year."

Others have been principal sponsors, including area banks, and other sponsorship levels are available. Andalusia Regional Hospital recently became sponsors with a $1,000 donation.

"The others become sponsors and get to put up their banners and get to be recognized," said Tomberlin.

The championship will be held at the Kiwanis building July 11-12 this year, with more than $20,000 in prize money offered. Registration to compete is open up to the date of the tournament, but contestants can save money by registering

before July 1. For more information, contact Sondra Ramsden, tournament coordinator, at 222-3160 or visit the website at www.worlddomino.com.