By Anna DeWine
XENIA — A golf tournament will be held on Friday, Sept. 23, to continue the legacy of a local woman who actively sponsored music, theatre and arts in the community throughout her life.
Shirley R. Ellis, a teacher, actor and director, will be remembered for her love of teaching and her passion for theatre during the third annual Shirley R. Ellis Memorial Golf Classic.
Proceeds will benefit the Xenia Area Community Theater and the Shirley R. Ellis Memorial Theater Scholarship, a scholarship fund for a Xenia High School student who is interested in theatre and fine arts. The scholarship was awarded last year to its first recipient, Jordan Fletcher, who is now attending Mount Vernon Nazarene University. Money raised over the last two years has also helped upgrade the XACT infrastructure, including adding an audio loop for the hearing impaired.
Ellis, who died in 2013, was both an actor and a director. She acted and directed in many Xenia plays and theatre productions from 1966 until the late 1990s. She directed plays at Xenia High School, the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home for Orphans, Ford Theatre, Central State University and many other local spots.
Ellis was also a realtor and an interior designer in Xenia. Before these careers, though, she was a teacher. Ellis taught English and drama at Upper Arlington High School in Columbus.
She remained a teacher at heart, continuing to encourage many local students to participate in the arts. Some of these students went on to perform nationally, in talent shows, television commercials, and in Disney and Hollywood productions.
This year’s tournament will be held at the GWC Golf Course, 944 Country Club Drive. Golfers can register for $70, which includes greens fee, cart and lunch. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. and the tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m.
The tournament first started on a cold, rainy day in October of 2014 with 16 golfers. Today, 54 golfers are registered for the event with a few spots left for golfers to register on Friday.
For more information, email director@XeniaACT.org or call 937-372-0516.