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Local golf: Chicopee event serves dual causes
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The Medical Center Foundation has a heart for hearts.

Faced with a tough decision of choosing between two worth charities — the Hall County Fire Services A.E.D. program the Northeast Georgia Regional STEMI program — the foundation decided that it would donate the proceeds from the 2010 Medical Center Open to both.

“This is the first time we’ve ever raised money for two,” said Sonya Smith, senior coordinator at the Medical Center Foundation. “Since both were tied together, we figured we’d do both.”

Both non-profit organizations improve access to emergency cardiac care with the A.E.D. program expanding the availability of portable defibrillators for Gainesville City and Hall County schools and the STEMI program placing special cardiac transmission equipment in ambulances and emergency rooms.

The equipment in the STEMI — which stands for st elevated myocardial infarction (a type of heart attack) — allows medical personnel the ability to transmit a patient’s heart activity to a hospital so the doctors there can decide which course of action would be best.

“Time is very important with heart attacks,” Smith said. “This type of equipment helps eliminate wasted minutes.”

And it’s these types of charities that has Chicopee Woods Golf Course opening its doors every year to play host to the event.

“The foundation always chooses a worthy recipient,” said Jim Arendt, director of golf at Chicopee Woods. “When you’re a small part of something that helps the community, it makes you feel good.”

Which is why some 200-plus golfers have signed up to play in the event.

“The people who play in this tournament are competitive, but they realize they’re playing for something more important than a trophy,” Arendt said.

Smith said the tournament, which has been contested at Chicopee Woods since 2002, has raised more than $200,000 in year’s past and this year’s goal is to raise $150,000.

The Medical Center Open begins at 11 a.m. Thursday.

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