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Former mayor gives donations from golf tournament

For seven years now, former Selma Mayor George Evans has held the Mayor’s Charity Golf Tournament to raise money for special education programs across Selma and Dallas County.

On Thursday, Evans brought the organizations together to provide each of them with a $2,500 check.

“It’s just my way of still giving back to the community,” Evans said. “I worked with special needs children in the county school system for 35 years, so I saw their needs during the time of being the coordinator for special education.”

Cahaba Mental Health’s Early Intervention Program, West Alabama Rehabilitation–Easter Seals, Selma City Schools and Dallas County Schools all received funds from the golf tournament.

“I am completely thankful for those that continue to give and donate to the cause, because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to continue to do this,” Evans said. “This is something that I want to continue to do. It’s something that’s been part of my life. and these are children and parents that can benefit from it.”

David White, operations manager at Easter Seals, said the funds will go toward materials for the children that they wouldn’t have been able to purchase.

“It means that we can buy supplies and equipment for the children that otherwise we don’t have the funding for,” White said. “Without that support, there’s a lot of things that we could not be able to do.”

White said he if thankful for a community that supports the children and gives back year-after-year.

“Every year, the proceeds from that tournament has steadily increased,” White said. “We’re extremely appreciative to the community for supporting us and helping us raise that money for the children.”

Angernette Carter, director of special education for Selma City Schools, and Dr. Sharon Streeter, special education coordinator for Dallas County Schools. Both said they will also use the funds to buy materials and equipment.

Carrie Bearden, early intervention director at the Cahaba Center, said the center has used the donation for numerous things over the years.

“In the past, it’s bought everything from equipment for babies or testing supplies or just general things that we need to run our program smoothly,” Bearden said. “We’re just thrilled to have the extra help.”

Last year, funds from the golf tournament went to help purchase a car for the Early Intervention Program. Bearden said with the program, the center provides services in a child’s home.

“We have really appreciated the funds over the past several years,” Bearden said. “Funding is usually tight, and we don’t get a whole lot of private donations, so this is an asset to us to get.”

Although Evans is no longer in office, he plans to continue holding the tournament every October and hopes to use his time until then getting more sponsors.

“I hope that because I’m no longer in office it doesn’t stop the community from participating,” Evans said.  “As long as I’m here, I would like to continue to do this and help those special needs children.”

The 2017 golf tournament is tentatively set for Oct. 18.