Drake aces golf-ball drop

Published 11:28 am Sunday, April 7, 2013

LaVon Drake scored a hole in one — and much more — Saturday, and she didn’t even tee it up.

Drake won $1,000 when a golf ball with 568 written on it went into the hole, leaning against the flagstick at the local American Red Cross chapter’s golf-ball drop at Warren Field Airport in Washington.

Drake, who did not attend the ball drop, bought one ticket. That’s all she needed.

“Somebody’s looking at for me,” she said.

Asked about her plans for the $1,000, she said, “I haven’t had time to make plans for it. … I don’t have any earthly idea, whatsoever. …I’m just shocked, amazed and befuddled.”

The golf-ball drop was the culmination of the chapter’s Heroes Campaign, six weeks of fundraising the includes Red Cross Month, which is March.

Jenny Morin’s ball was second closest to the flagstick, earning her $500. Debbie Mutherspaw garnered $250 when the golf ball assigned to her landed third closest to the red-and-white flagstick.

“Through the ball drop, as of this morning, we have cleared over $4,000. We’re excited about that,” said Bill Brent, regional chief executive officer for the Red Cross, just minutes before the ball drop Saturday morning. “All of the money from the ball drop goes 100 percent back into the programs and services of the Red Cross because our title sponsor for the Heroes Campaign across the region this year is Potash Corporation, of course, located here in the community. So, all the prize money is from them.”

Brent said the money raised by the event would be put to good use.

“It will primarily go to our disaster programs. Those are the most-costly programs that we do. That’s because we have to be ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” Brent said. “So, that’s always training new volunteers, being ready meet the needs of those families who lose their homes in the middle of the night to a fire. An average family of four, if we take care of them for three days with food, lodging and clothing, can cost up to $1,000. So, it doesn’t take long to invest that money back into the community.”

The golf balls cascaded down from the platform of the Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS Department’s Ladder 1 apparatus. There were more golf balls than observers. Aside from the top three winners, others who bought chances won prizes, including gift certificates to local businesses.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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