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Golf tourney raises money for injured firefighters
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Hall County firefighters Will Griffin, left, Stephen Jackson, and TJ Elliot, right, shake hands with Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle on Monday afternoon at Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club in Flowery Branch during a charity golf tournament to benefit the three firefighters, who were injured in a July training incident.

How to help

What: Donate to the Hall County Injured Firefighters Fund
Where: Hall County Community Credit Union, 2601 Limestone Parkway, Gainesville
More info: 770-534-4255

A group of golfers came out Monday to support three Hall County firefighters, hoping to chip in to their relief fund.

Will Griffin, TJ Elliott and Stephen Jackson, who were injured in a July 22 training incident, praised the community’s support Monday at the Royal Lakes Golf and Country Club golf tournament in Flowery Branch.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Griffin said. “I can’t express enough gratitude.”

The three firefighters fell 44 feet at the Allen Creek Training Center, suffering injuries after a firetruck ladder descended suddenly.

An estimated $9,000 was raised for each firefighter, said one of the event’s organizers, Sonja Stamey, wife of Hall County Fire Services Lt. Philip Stamey.

“The community really stepped up for us,” Sonja Stamey said.

The response to the event, with 80 sponsors donating door prizes, money and more, was unbelievable to Sonja Stamey. The brotherhood of firefighters — along with its significant others — has been working to help the “Tower Trio” get back on their feet.

“We started a meal train for them, where we set up where they’d have meals delivered to them — sometimes when they were still in the hospital and then afterwards,” Stamey said. “And then we wanted to do something bigger.”

Griffin said rehab is going well and he is “feeling a little better every day.”

“It’s been an uphill battle, but every day is a fight,” Griffin said.

Monday, Elliott said he was undergoing surgery for his rotator cuff. After months of recuperation, he said he is hoping to regain a sense of normalcy in his life.

“It’s never going to not hurt,” Elliott said. “I guess it’s more of getting used to this feeling.”

A total of 36 teams and 144 golfers — the maximum number possible — participated in the tournament, with the entry fee being $100 per player. After all the preparation, Stamey said she was pleased to see the result.

“It started out with just a little idea from a couple of people, and we ended up with a wonderful day,” she said.

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