Golfing for a good cause

Local nonprofits host fundraising golf tournaments this spring

by Josh Whitener

Spring is in the air … and so is golf season!

Each year, many local nonprofits take advantage of the warm weather and blossoming trees and feature golf tournaments as a major fundraiser. And it’s a chance for avid golfers to take advantage of the opportunity to use their beloved hobby to help support a good cause.

Dennis Toler has participated in Matthews Free Medical Clinic’s annual golf tournament with his sons for several years. Toler recognizes the important impact tournaments like this have on local nonprofits.

“Most golfers realize just how many fundraising tournaments there are in the greater Matthews area,” Toler said. “MFMC provides valuable medical services throughout the surrounding communities, and the tournament is the key fundraising event.”

Not sure where to direct your golf clubs this year? Here’s a preview of several golf tournament fundraisers taking place this spring to benefit nonprofit organizations in Matthews or Mint Hill.

Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care Annual Charity Golf Tournament

The Blessed Assurance Golf Tournament April 19, will benefit programs for local seniors and residents with physical or mental challenges. Photo courtesy of Blessed Assurance

Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care of Mint Hill will host its Annual Charity Golf Tournament Thursday, April 19, at the Olde Sycamore Club, located at 7500 Olde Sycamore Drive, in Mint Hill. The event begins with lunch at 10:30 a.m., followed by the tournament and a dinner served at the end of the day. Proceeds will benefit senior citizens and disabled adults with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other illnesses who are served at Blessed Assurance.

The Mint Hill nonprofit at 13001 Idlewild Road offers quality daytime care to senior citizens, disabled veterans and other adults with physical or mental challenges who do not qualify for nursing home care. The nonprofit provides its clients with daily meals, necessary medicines, bathing services and health monitoring.

“These are life-sustaining programs,” Nate Huggins, CEO of Blessed Assurance, said. “(Our clients) deserve the same quality of life as we do.”

Huggins said he hopes to see at least 80 golfers participate in the tournament and show their support for the adults who benefit from the care Blessed Assurance offers.

“We hope to get the community engaged and aware of the need of their support,” he said.

The cost to play is $75 for individuals. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
For more information, visit

S.A.F.E. Animal Haven’s 2nd Annual Benefit Golf Tournament

As its second annual golf tournament approaches, S.A.F.E. Animal Haven hopes to double its proceeds from last year to provide a safe environment for animals in the Matthews area. The tournament will take place Monday, April 23, at the Stonebridge Golf Course, located at 2121 Swilcan Burn Drive, Monroe. The shotgun tee-off will take place at 1:30 p.m.

Last year, the event saw 13 teams and 10 volunteers participate. It was the nonprofit’s largest event of the year.

“Last year the golf tournament raised about $6,500 and we hope to double that this year,” Becky Drillings, coordinator of the S.A.F.E. Animal Haven Golf Tournament, said in a news release.

Because of the recession, a growing number of families can no longer afford to keep their pets, she said. S.A.F.E. Animal Haven is a nonprofit group of volunteers who work to provide foster care to these animals and attempt to find them forever homes.

The cost to participate in the tournament is $100 for individuals and $380 for teams. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, visit or e-mail

Matthews Free Medical Clinic 7th Annual Golf Tournament

For the seventh year in a row, Matthews Free Medical Clinic will host a joint golf tournament and silent auction. The tournament, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 30, is one of two major fundraisers Matthews FMC hosts each year. The event will take place at the Raintree Country Club, located at 8600 Raintree Lane, Charlotte. All funds raised go to the clinic, which offers a variety of free medical care to qualifying individuals who have no health insurance.

Last year, the tournament saw 132 golfers and about 20 volunteers. The tournament alone raised more than $67,000 for the clinic. The silent auction, which featured donated gift cards, valuables and services, raised more than $3,000. And the clinic’s executive director Amy Carr says the nonprofit expects to see even more this year.

“We’ve had a really good response, so far,” Carr said. “We are obviously hoping to raise more this year.”

The clinic has seen a patient increase of 20 percent over the course of 2011, and Carr said she expects to see just as much of an increase this year. The funds from the tournament will allow the clinic to continue to offer care to its clients and expand its services, which include moving to a new facility.

A $150 entry fee includes a greens fee, cart, catered lunch, range balls, on-course beverages and snacks, gift bags and a catered dinner coinciding with the tournament’s award ceremony. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, visit, or call 704-841-8882.

Matthews Chamber of Commerce Spring Golf Tournament

For 10 years, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce has hosted two annual golf tournaments. This year’s spring tournament will take place Thursday, May 24, at the south course of Raintree Country Club, located at 8600 Raintree Lane, Charlotte. The shotgun start is at 12:45 p.m.

Representatives of the nonprofit are hoping to see this year’s event max out, with 144 players. Last year, the tournament fell just short of that number, with about 120 golfers. The number of hole sponsors filled up last year, with sponsors at all eighteen holes.

Funds raised vary from year to year. Each year, the Chamber’s board of directors chooses one of their nonprofits to receive a portion of the proceeds.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for members to entertain clients,” Mary Ann Rascoe, events coordinator for Matthews Chamber of Commerce, said. “It’s a good way for networking, supporting nonprofits and enjoying a nice day off playing golf.”

The cost to play is $100. Lunch and dinner are served and raffle prizes are awarded at the event. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, call 704-847-3649, or visit

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