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Shrine club golf tournament set for Saturday
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The 23rd annual Hinesville Fort Stewart Shrine Club Golf Tournament starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Cherokee Rose Country Club in Hinesville. Current president Jim Williams said there is still time to register or sponsor a hole.
"They can sponsor a hole for $100," Williams said. "The price includes a sign advertising the sponsor's information at the hole."
Proceeds from the tournament help the local Hinesville-Fort Stewart group with projects to aid local charities, maintenance fees for their office and support the national organization. The national organization, Shrine of North America, operates the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 pediatric hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico, providing specialized care for orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate.
Last year's event raised around $7,000 and generated excitement when, for the first time in the tournament's history, Leroy Strickland hit a hole-in one on the 13th and won a 2007 Suzuki X-7.
"I was right there," Shrine member George Harris said. "He kept looking for the ball and I could barely speak but I said, ‘It's a hole in one.’ He got a new car and only paid $800."
Harris is a roadrunner for the local Shrine, providing transportation to and from the hospital for families. He has done so for the last two years.
"We drive them there," Harris said. "We make sure they are housed, we feed them. We have an old saying. ‘We ride so the children can walk.’ ”
The hospital provides services at no charge. Eligibility for care is not based on financial need or relationship to a Shriner.
Williams said it's an exciting time for the local Shrine club and their southeast region parent club the Alee Shrine in Savannah. In the next few weeks they hope to launch an outreach and screening center at the Alee Shrine Center under the direction of Dr. Dan Mason and members of the Tampa Shriners Hospital.
"This is going to help streamline the process," Williams said about the goal of the outreach center. "Folks can start with us or come to us when they have been told they are at the end of their rope by other doctors or professionals. The screening can help us determine priority cases and get the kid where they need to be as soon as possible."
Williams said there will be more information forthcoming on the outreach center. In the meantime he said anyone requesting last minute information on Saturday's golf tournament could call the tournament's chairman, Al Nelson Jr. at 876-2391.

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