For a golfer, professional or amateur, there is nothing better than a summer afternoon on the golf course.
Local golfers have that chance in August, plus they can help a great cause.
This is the 10th year for the Gilead Ministries Celebration Golf Scramble. The event is Aug. 14 at Arbor Trace Golf Club.
"We were looking for an avenue to create funding, as well as a celebration," said Gilead's executive director Bill Sparks of the event's origins. "The atmosphere is very different. People walk away with a feeling of ownership, of being part of something."
Sparks said the annual banquet in the fall is both fundraiser and celebration. The golf scramble provides the same thing in the summer.
The annual event accounts for about 15 percent of Gilead's budget. At this point in time, the golfing event is down about 10 teams from last year. As charitable dollars get tighter, agencies like Gilead can feel the pinch.
"We're not facing anything that any other agency is facing," Sparks said.
To help offset that, there is a new wrinkle at this year's event. Participants who pledge $5 a month gets a sleeve of Titleist Velocity golf balls. A $10 monthly pledge earns you a free round of golf, with cart, at Arbor Trace. A $15 monthly pledge gets you both.
"Those monthly donors are the blood and guts of our fundraising," Sparks said. "We're trying to get as many $5 and $10 donors as we can. Five dollars is the cost of one meal at McDonald's. Think of that as feeding someone's life through encouragement. That $5 or $10 can help 400 people over the course of a year."
As for the annual scramble, golfers can play either 18 or 36 holes of golf. One 18-hole round starts at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast served before teeing off. The other round starts at 1:30 p.m. Teams can choose to play one or both rounds. Either way there is a great lunch of BBQ ribs in-between.
Golf is golf," Sparks said. "The best thing is the BBQ ribs and the atmosphere. You have people wearing ribbons honoring family members with cancer."
Cancer patients\survivors get to play for free thanks to the donations of others.
Prizes are awarded for first, second and third place. There are also prizes for hole in one, longest drive, longest putt, straightest drive and a putting contest.
The cost to participate is $50 per person or $200 for a team. The cost the day of the scramble is $65. To play both flights is $325.
Hole sponsorships are available to area businesses for $100.
Story written by: Sherie Smith, Blog Author
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