Charity golf tournament helps special needs children

Published 5:50 pm Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mark McElhaney shakes Selma Mayor George Evans' hand after Evans made his putt on the 18th hole.

Mark McElhaney shakes Selma Mayor George Evans’ hand after Evans made his putt on the 18th hole.

By Alaina Denean Deshazo | The Selma Times-Journal

Selma Mayor George Evans has been putting on his charity golf tournament to benefit local special needs children for seven years and just because he will give up his title of mayor in November doesn’t mean he will give up helping children.

“I plan to work with this [program] and make it even bigger and better next year,” Evans said. “My goal is to continue to be involved in this to help the city moving forward.”

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The golf classic is a fundraiser benefitting Cahaba Mental Health, West Alabama Rehabilitation Easter-Seals, Selma City Schools, Dallas County Schools and Selma Disability Advocacy Center.

Twenty-two teams of three competed in the tournament Wednesday at Valley Grande Golf Course, as Evans stayed on the 18th green to try and score a birdie for each team.

“I get a chance to make a putt for them on the 18th [green], and if I make it they get a birdie,” Evans said. “I enjoy just fellowshipping and taking a picture with the teams.”

Evans said the tournament had a good turnout, and he is excited to see how much money was raised.

“The turnout’s been very good,” Evans said. “It’s a good day, beautiful weather and everybody’s having fun.”

Ron Stewart started competing in the tournament the first year, and has been sure to compete every year since, winning the last two tournaments.

“I’ve been out here every year,” Stewart said. “It’s great, it’s a lot of fun. Everybody is here for the kids. We don’t care about the prize money or the gifts, it’s for the kids.”

With 22 teams of three, and the cost of entry $80 a person, a total of $5,280 was raised from registration only, not including other donations or sponsorships.

Evans said time will be on his side in planning next year’s tournament.

“I’ll have a lot of time on my side, and I’ll be able to get out and hustle at getting more sponsors to recognize the importance of helping these children,” Evans said.