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Golfing ‘fore’ a good cause

The annual golf ball drop will be held Wednesday as part of the 17th annual Camellia Communications Pro-Law Am Golf Tournament at Cambrian Ridge. The owner of the golf ball that drops closest to the hole will receive $250.  (File Photo)

The annual golf ball drop will be held Wednesday as part of the 17th annual Camellia Communications Pro-Law-Am Golf Tournament at Cambrian Ridge. The owner of the golf ball that drops closest to the hole will receive $250. (File Photo)

The 17th annual Camellia Communications Pro-Law-Am Golf Tournament will be held Wednesday at Cambrian Ridge.

The tournament serves as the primary fundraiser for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 39. The Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center, which works with law enforcement, the judicial system and the Department of Human Resources in Butler, Lowndes and Crenshaw counties to assist children who have been victims of crime or who have witnessed a crime, also receives a portion of the funds raised by the tournament.

“The Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center is a really good organization that helps a lot of people,” said Capt. Justin Lovvorn, president of FOP Lodge No. 39.

Lovvorn said the lodge uses the money raised from the tournament to assist law enforcement families during times of need.

“If there’s a loss of income in the family, a fire at their house or an event like that, we want to be able to cut a check to help. It may be $500 to get them through the next week or helping pay for them to have a place to stay for a week or a month. This money helps us be able to assist when there’s a need.”

The tournament will be played in a four-man-scramble format and will feature two divisions — an open division and a law enforcement division. To be eligible to play in the law enforcement division, a team must have two certified law enforcement officers on the team. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded for each division.

“The golf is probably better in the open division. Most law enforcement officers aren’t very good golfers,” Lovvorn said with a smile.

The entry fee is $100 per person or $75 for law enforcement officers.

The fee includes 18 holes of championship golf, a cart, free range balls, use of the practice green, prizes, dinner and an awards ceremony.

And though the tournament is largely meant to appeal to golfers, one particular aspect of the tournament has drawn crowds of golf enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike for the past 16 years.

The golf ball drop involves a Dale County Sheriff’s Office helicopter flying roughly 200 feet above a hole on the driving range with a large duffel bag full of golf balls.

The balls are all marked with a number that corresponds to an owner’s ticket.

One of the deputies will then lean out of the helicopter and dump the bag of golf balls out directly above the hole.

The individual whose ticket corresponds to the numbered ball nearest to the hole will win $250 and, if the ball actually lands in the hole, the prize doubles to $500.

The golf balls cost $10 each and, although the winner does not have to be present to receive the prize, participation is encouraged.

Chances on the golf ball drop can be purchased with the Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Registration for the tournament begins at 11:30 a.m., and the tournament will begin at 1 p.m. The golf ball drop is slated for 12:30 p.m.

The deadline to register for the tournament by mail is Sunday.

For more information or to register for the tournament, contact Cambrian Ridge at (334) 382-9787 or the Butler County Children’s Advocacy Center at (334) 382-8584.