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Golf tournament raises funds for women’s shelter

POSTED: October 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.

This year’s Medical Center Open raised well in excess of the $140,000 goal set for the fundraiser.

Lorry Schrage and Stephen Moore, co-chairmen of the 17th annual Medical Center Open, announced at the 19th Hole Reception that this year’s golf tournament, which benefits the Gateway Domestic Violence Center, raised $201,565. The tournament was held at Chicopee Woods Golf Course.

"This year’s goal was to raise $140,000 to benefit Gateway Domestic Violence Center, a nonprofit organization whose goal for more that 25 years has been to end the cycle of domestic violence in Hall County," said Nancy Colston, executive director of The Medical Center Foundation. "To exceed our goal by this much is tremendous."

Sonya Smith, annual gifts coordinator for the Medical Center Foundation, also was very pleased with the amount raised.

"It’s very exciting. We were thrilled," she said. "It is the second-highest amount we’ve raised in the 17 years of the tournament."

Smith was quick to point out that the amount raised was the result of a team effort, not only from the committee of 30 people who work on bringing in sponsorships for the event, but also a generous community.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice, "witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next."

Funds raised through the Medical Center Open will allow the Gateway Domestic Violence Center to expand classroom space to increase attendance capacity by more than 60 percent, teaching even more women and children how to have safe and healthy homes and to break the generational cycle of violence.

This year’s Medical Center Open, sponsored by Wachovia and The Medical Center Foundation, had nearly 200 sponsors, more than 200 players and 100 volunteers contributing to the tournament. McGarity’s Business Products/Xerox Corporation sponsored the 19th Hole Reception.

The fundraiser is the only one held each year by the Medical Center Foundation and always benefits a community health improvement project, Smith said. The foundation goes through a grant process to select the beneficiary of the fundraiser and that process already has begun for next year’s event, she said.

A separate group, the Medical Center Auxiliary, has two fundraisers coming up during the holidays: The Market Place is held in early November, and the Love Lights campaign and tree lighting will be held in December.



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