Golf tournament means far more
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 12:00 AM
The Lakelands, like so much of the Palmetto State, is a golfer’s delight, but not everyone plays the sport. It only seems that way sometimes. Many a non-player is a fan, however.
By now anyone reading this surely must know there is a big event taking place this week in Greenwood. It’s the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic -- Women’s Health Classic for short. On Thursday, 144 women will walk onto the Links at Stoney Point for a chance to win the four-day Symetra Tour tournament’s first stop in the Carolinas. The winner here will then head to Asheville and Charlotte in North Carolina for the next legs of the tour. If she wins all three tournaments, she will take home the Park Sterling Links Cup and a $1 million prize.
The weather is looking great for this inaugural tournament in Greenwood and we are certain players, fans and non-fans alike will be flocking to Stoney Point during the four days of play. It is something new. It is something exciting. But there is more to the golf tournament here than the excitement of 12 dozen women vying for a big purse. There is something more than the benefit Greenwood County hoteliers, restaurateurs and retailers will reap as a result of the influx of out-of-towners.
When all is said and done, after the leader board comes down and goes into storage, after the big tent is packed up, after life at Stoney Point returns to normal for residents there, a great residual effect will begin to take hold.
Jim and Denise Medford, owners of the Links at Stoney Point and the organizers behind bringing the Symetra Tour to Greenwood, want to do more than host a great golf tournament that brings attention to Greenwood from a golfing perspective. They want the tournament to have a lasting impact on the tournament’s focal point, which is women’s health issues. Toward that end, they are ensuring charitable proceeds raised via the tournament through sponsorship dollars are going to be channeled to nonprofit agencies within a seven-county area. This is not simply a handful of dollars that will be doled out for a one-time use, and while that in itself would be generous, the Medfords think long-term.
They have appointed the Greenwood County Community Foundation as overseers of the charitable dollars that will distributed. Of course, the main beneficiary will be the tournament’s namesake, Self Regional Healthcare Foundation, which conducts various community outreach programs for area women and their families. Additionally, however, the Medfords identified some nonprofit agencies that most assuredly can use the added funding to do the good works they also do in meeting the needs of women and children. Organizations such as Beyond Abuse, a facility that provides counseling and treatment to sexually abused women and children, will reap benefits. So too will A Place for Us Ministries, a crisis pregnancy center in Greenwood. Faith Home, Meg’s House, Women in Unity, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands, McCormick Children’s Home Inc., Safe Home and MK Inc. also stand to benefit from the tournament, and dollars will also go toward a scholarship at Piedmont Tech specifically for women.
Of note is the fact that this tournament is poised to pour anywhere from $200,000 to $300,000 into these various programs and agencies. Of even greater note is that the Medfords committed to bringing the tournament to Greenwood for a full decade, which will result in a continually growing pot of dollars to be shared among these and likely other organizations that specifically deal with the overall health and well-being of women in our area.
That, readers, is something to be excited about. Even if you are not the biggest fan of golf, even if you don’t play the game, you ought to head out to the Links at Stoney Point sometime this week during the four days of play as a show of support for the local beneficiaries and as a nod of thanks to the Medfords for the care and concern they show this community and the philanthropic giving they have provided.