Golf to End Alzheimer’s: Four-man scramble raises funds, awards shotgun and grill as prizes

Published 5:29 pm Monday, October 9, 2023

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Last Friday saw dozens of golfers take to the green at the Bainbridge Country Club, with teams of four from various business and groups in the community competing in the Golf to End Alzheimer’s event. This event serves as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Walk to End Alzheimers. According to Kathy Varner with the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the golf tournament was originally conceived of by Rob McRae. “At the first year, Rob McRae… said, ‘I noticed on the walk, it was predominantly women. There needs to be something for the men to do in town that will support the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.’”

The golf tournament has been hosted for several years now, though there were some new additions to the festivities this year, namely a new contest featuring an air cannon; contestants fired golf balls from the cannon at hole 1, with the closest one winning a Beretta A300 Ultima 20 gauge shotgun and a case of shells, provided by Flint River Outfitters. Additionally, all participants were also entered into a raffle for a Big Green Egg grill, provided by Stone’s Home Centers.

The Alzheimer’s fundraisers have not just stopped with golfing though; last year, a tennis fundraiser was begun, which has continued this year, and plans to start a pickle ball event next year are currently in the works as well. That said, golfing remains the more successful of the two. “More than half of the money we collect for our walk comes from this,” Varner said.

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Bert Hines ultimately won the shotgun from the golf cannon contest, while First Port City Bank’s team won first place (the team consisted of Will Mosely, Chandler Ray, Kyle Staples and Hunter Ivins.) Circle W Farms came in second, with their team including Takumi Katayama, David James, Clint Shields and Greg Harrell.

Many local business contributed to the event with sponsorships; aside from the donations by Stone’s and Flint River Outfitters, Shaw Industries, Edward Jones, Inland, First Port City Bank, Palmer Insurance, the John Simmons family, First National Bank, First Baptist Church, Memorial Hospital and Manor and it’s staff, Georgia Hospice Care, Danimer Scientific and Circle W Farms also contributed.

“We are grateful for all the support,” Varner said. “If you are ever interested in being a part of the golf tournament, or tennis, or maybe next year’s pickle ball, please contact some of us.” She added that the two Edward Jones offices are good ways to get information. The main Walk To End Alzheimer’s is scheduled for Saturday, October 21.