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Golfers play Santa in annual tourney
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Even a bad economy couldn’t keep the 11th annual Good Ol’ Boys-John Stevens Santa Scramble down.
The Nov. 4 golf tournament at Sterling Creek Golf Course raised about $15,000. The money goes to the Bryan County Children’s Fund to buy Christmas gifts for needy children in the community.
“Considering what the economy is, I would say this has been a very good year for us,” said Good Ol’ Boys member Dick Brockhoff. “We really have to thank our sponsors and the participants at the tournament. Those are the two groups that make this tournament possible. They bring in all the money that we raise.”
Among the top finishers in the Scramble were John Hopkins, Grant Black, John Hulett and Trey Stokes, who combined for the lowest net score; Larry Faircloth, John Howell and Sydney Freeman placed second.
The team of Ellison Gilbert, Carl Webb, Roy Sasser and John Burke took first in the low gross score category, while Bill Ingram, Holland Smith, John Schell and Glenn Hewitt finished second.
Sharon Harris got closest to the pin on the 12th hole. Webb hit closest to the pin on the 13th hole on a course that drew praise from competitors and organizers alike.
“They really fixed this golf course up something nice,” Burke said.
Brockhoff agreed.
“The course is in excellent shape,” he said. “Chris (Darieng) has done a great job since he took over as manager. He’s turned it around completely.”
Darieng said Sterling Links was happy to have the Scramble.
“Richmond Hill as a community has always been very supportive of tournaments, but this is very special because it’s for kids,” he said. “This helps in supporting needy families and even in this tough economy it’s good to see people still find a way to give.”
Eighteen teams paid to compete in the event, which also was supported by donations of money, goods and services by more than 80 individuals and businesses – including the Bryan County News, the Scramble’s title sponsor.
Major sponsors in 2010 were the Spier/Brogdon families, Air Tran Airlines, Smoking Pig BBQ and In Memory of Elizabeth and James Brogdon.
Over the last five years, the combination of sponsors and golfers has helped the Santa Scramble raise more than $95,000 for needy children in Bryan County, organizers estimate.
But the tournament wouldn’t take place without the work of Good Ol’ Boys such as Brockhhoff, John and Dallas Howell, Ingram, Smith, Joe Bessent, Jimmy Johnson and John Usher.
“Everything is done for the Bryan County Children’s Fund,” Brockhoff said. “That’s what the whole idea behind this was when John Stevens started this thing.”
Since then, the Scramble has become the largest fundraiser for the BCCF. Bryan County Family Connections Coordinator Wendy Sims called the group's contribution to the "awesome."
"They just always do such a great job," she said.

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