Tee it up: Golf association raises $29,000 for cancer centerPublished 5:02pm Saturday, October 19, 2013
For 13 years, the Cypress Landing Women’s Golf Association hosted a golf tournament for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Organizers raised over $110,000 by combining creative, and often hilarious, events with the sobering need of funding for prevention, research and a cure for breast cancer.
But it was when the women of the association realized the closest facility benefiting from their efforts was in Raleigh that they turned their sites closer to home — to the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center in Washington. It was the perfect fit, because Dr. Marion Shepard, a Cypress Landing resident, had been one of their own.
In the summer of 2012, Peg Bodie, head golf professional at the Cypress Landing Golf Club, approached the center about the association’s desire to switch gears. The Marion L. Shepard Hope and Heroes Walk and it’s follow up event, Let’s Tee it up for a Cure, were born.
The end result was a check for over $29,000 presented to the cancer center on Oct. 1 — money that will directly impact the center’s ability to provide support and services to Beaufort County cancer patients, survivors and caregivers.
“This is a significant donation for our community, especially in the current economic environment,” said Pam Shadle, manager of marketing, public relations and development at Vidant Beaufort Hospital.
“The Shepard Cancer Foundation board is so very grateful for the support from the Cypress Landing golf club and community,” said Dr. Ainsley Rusevlyan, president of the Shepard Cancer Foundation. “Their efforts towards this fundraiser were amazing!”
According to Bodie and event chair Nancy Hackett, volunteers and donations — the foundation of any fundraising event — arrived in droves. One committee made 400 bows to sell in honor of those who had, or are currently battling, cancer and for weeks, Cypress Landing was decorated with the visible hope for a cure.
“There were bows on mailboxes and doors,” Hackett said. “They were all over the community.”
Next came the Hope and Heroes Walk on Sept. 5, for which 250 men and women took to the golf course to raise money.
“We didn’t have to use the street — we used our front nine. … After the walk was done we had a huge pizza party and music. Our local pizza guys always help us out. They’re great,” Bodie said, adding that every pizza restaurant in Chocowinity and Washington donated food for the cause.
By their estimates, only 1.5 percent of the total amount raised was used for the event itself. Food, beverages, paper products, coffee, were all donated, including participants’ Hope and Heroes t-shirts that were provided by a Cypress Landing resident who’d lost his wife to cancer.
The same applied to a raffle — many Cypress Landing artists donated works to the cause — and the final event, Let’s Tee it up for a Cure, for which Bodie cold-called golf courses from Pinehurst to Myrtle Beach to collect prizes: rounds of golf for four people at some of the nicest golfing facilities in the Carolinas. In the end, there were enough prizes for three flights of first-, second- and third-place winners.
“We rounded up 36 rounds of golf for four people. Every person got a certificate for four people somewhere,” Bodie said.
And again, breakfast and lunch were both provided by area restaurants.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an event where so much of the stuff was donated,” Shadle said, a fact she attributes to the pervasive reality of cancer. “Cancer has affected so many people from this community.”
Bodie said, at the outset she just “went with an idea” when she first made contact with the Foundation, but if the $29,000 raised is any indication, it was a good idea. Now, they’re already making bigger, better, more fun and creative plans for next year.
“We’ve got to find something interesting to do,” Hackett said.
“We try and find weird ways to make money every year,” Bodie laughed.