Fire departments have raised funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association as long as Jerry Lewis has run his annual telethon.
This year, the Hinesville Fire Department took fundraising for the cause to the next level and hosted its first MDA golf tournament at Cherokee Rose Country Club in Hinesville on Saturday, raising $2,500.
City of Hinesville Fire Department Engineer Roland Evans organized the tournament, but said it took "the whole village" to make it successful.
"I want to thank all of the people who helped make this tournament possible and special. Thanks goes out to all of our sponsors, especially Hinesville Ford, Victory Trophies, and Baldinos," he said.
Among the attendants were Ryan Gordon and his parents, Randy and Cathy Gordon. Ryan, 15, has MD, which makes life for the Bradwell Institute sophomore a bit of a struggle. The Hinesville family say they were moved by the outpouring of support from the community.
"It’s a full-time job just going to school," Randy Gordon said of his son. "A lot of the kids in his fix don’t even finish school.
The time it takes to finish school is slower than the progression of the disease. It’s hard for him to make the whole week of school right now because he becomes fatigued. And it does us the same way because when he is awake, we are awake, and we still have to work our jobs, too. It is physically and mentally strenuous."
Gordon said he and his wife work around the clock to care for their son, and he was quick to express his gratitude for the MDA for taking care of children like Ryan.
The MDA office in Charleston, S.C., helped the Gordon family buy medical equipment.
"His wheelchair is $20,000 and I can’t buy that," Randy Gordon said. "After they paid their part, there was hardly anything I had to pay for, so it is a big help. They help with doctor’s visits and although he’s not on medication right now, they help with that. They are basically a backup for our insurance and, fortunately, I have insurance. They are a very big backup. It means a lot to know that people care. They are taking their time and their money to support our children that are sick."
"It is pretty overwhelming," Cathy Gordon said, choking back tears."
Evans said 10 teams participated in the tournament. The first-place team, the Off Post Barber Shop, shot a -14. Team members were Jay Blocker, Leonard Carrette Mike Thomas and Beau Sandberg. The second-place team was Bennett’s Heating and Air. They shot a -7, and members were Billy Edwards, John Ryals, Tony Leischen and Robert Oglesbey. The third-place team members were Scott McCue, Bill Burch, Eric Little and Travis McGee.