CenturyTel Pro-Law-Am raises #036;15,000

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 3, 2004

The rains that have dampened Butler County and much of the state over the past month held off just long enough for the sixth annual CenturyTel Pro-Law-Am to wrap up Wednesday.

Thirty-four teams comprised of 136 golfers competed in the event to raise money for the Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 39. Kathy Smyth, executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center, said the event went great.

&uot;We had an incredible turnout and awesome community support,&uot; Smyth said. &uot;It just went very smoothly.&uot;

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Last year the event raised nearly $4,000, which was split 50/50 by the Advocacy Center and the FOP. Smyth said over $15,000 was raised this year.

&uot;I think it’s just a building process,&uot; she said.

Only 86 golfers competed in the event last year.

&uot;The fact that the tournament benefits police officers and children and that they are both local charities brings about a lot of local support,&uot; Smyth said. &uot;Also, since we had a title sponsor this year, the excitement was evident.&uot;

CenturyTel came on board as the tournament’s title sponsor this year. Jeff Adams, CenturyTel area plant supervisor said sponsoring the tournament was the least the communications provider could do for its community.

&uot;CenturyTel likes to be a part of community events and support our community and this is a really good cause, helping the children and Safe Harbor,&uot; he said.

CenturyTel enjoyed being a part of the tournament so much and was amazed with the enthusiasm by golfers and volunteers that it signed up to be next year’s title sponsor.

&uot;When we got here today we saw the increase in participation, the enthusiasm from everybody participating and I know that Kathy (Smyth) felt like CenturyTel lends a lot of credibility to the tournament. We’ve met everybody that’s involved and we really see what kind of difference we can make. It was an instantaneous decision.&uot;

Mark Harold, president of FOP Lodge 39, agrees with Smyth. He too believes CenturyTel gave the tournament credibility.

&uot;I think one thing that helped this year was the advertising we got through CenturyTel and word of mouth over the years,&uot; Harold said. &uot;Each year it gets larger and larger. I believe next year will be even larger than this. Everybody knows that it’s going to be a wonderful tournament with the help of Cambrian Ridge and their wonderful staff and all the businesses that helped sponsor the tournament.&uot;

Harold said it was an easy decision for the FOP to decide to team up with the Children’s Advocacy Center. The organization is always looking for a way to help children.

&uot;We decided that we wanted to help children and we could not find a better opportunity to help children than to help fund the Advocacy Center and the work they do with children,&uot; Harold said. &uot;We wanted to help Butler, Lowndes and Crenshaw counties and we thought the money from the tournament could best be spent through the Advocacy Center.&uot;

Smyth said the Advocacy Center would use the money raised to pay for forensic interviews and counseling services for children that were victims of abuse. Harold said the FOP would use their cut of the money to support disabled and injured policemen and to offset cost of the state FOP conference.

Covington County’s David Anderson, Joe Lee, Michael Smith and Joe Ptomey claimed first place in the law enforcement division of the tournament. The foursome shot a net score of 49.2 in the scramble.

Brantley Hinson, Terry Robinson, Earl Martin and Brent Bennett took top honors in the civilian division of the tournament with a net score of 48.5.

Michael Smith, Mints McGowin, Billy Barfield and Chris Kim won the closest to the hole competitions during the tournament. Scott Loftis and Joe Watts won the longest drive competitions.