The fifth annual Tournament of Wishes Golf Event to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation was completed last week and was a smashing success - as in record-smashing.
This year's golf tournament, concert and auction netted more than $46,000 for Make-A-Wish. All of this money will stay in the CSRA and go to help grant wishes for local kids.
The average wish costs $5,000, so at least nine children facing life-threatening illnesses will have their wishes funded from this event. That brings the five-year total contributions to nearly $150,000.
Not bad for a tournament that started out as a conversation between former Jones Creek Head Golf Pro Brent Smithers and me.
I get all the credit for creating this tournament when actually it's Smithers who deserves it. Brent moved to Mississippi a couple of years ago, but our tournament lives on.
Back in the winter of 2002, I got a call from Brent and he simply said, "A.B., you need to host a golf tournament."
I said, "Sounds good to me," and the rest, as they say, is history.
It really was that simple. Brent also came up with the idea to make Make-A-Wish the beneficiary. One of his members had a wish granted a few years before, and he thought it was a great organization.
We met with then-Make-A-Wish area director, Bonnie Hadden, and our trio was set.
Since then, we have established a golf tournament committee with some incredible people at the helm and have grown by leaps and bounds (the first year we donated $10,000).
While I get most of the pats on the back, I want everyone to know that without Brent Smithers none of this would have happened. Make-A-Wish would still be active in the CSRA, but their number of wishes granted would be much smaller.
Many of you golfers know Smithers from his days as an assistant pro at West Lake Country Club or his stint at Jones Creek. He was liked by everyone while he was here and is sorely missed in our area.
So with the huge success of this year's Tournament of Wishes, I wanted to take a moment to let everyone know who really deserves credit for creating this wonderful event.
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