Golfers Against Cancer hold annual tournament and gala
- Written by Stephen Goff
Each year on the Sunday and Monday before Thanksgiving, Golfers Against Cancer organizes a fundraising golf tournament intended to raise funds for cancer research. On the Monday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, the annual tournament and awards will be held. A corporate shootout tournament will be held Nov. 23, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, to recognize the major sponsors. Currently, the organization’s fundraising efforts have approached the $20 million mark. Established in 1997 by members of the Deerwood Country Club in Kingwood, the group’s main objective was to show support for Deerwood Golf Club member Dave Roberts and Deerwood Club golf professional Mike Longpre. That same year, Roberts was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and Longpre was diagnosed with a brain tumor. GAC Chairman Bobby Jones and some of his fellow golf friends created the organization to support and honor Roberts and Longpre. After raising $80,000 their inaugural year, GAC has become nationally known and continues to raise millions of dollars per year for cancer research. GAC Board member John Dewberry has been with the organization since the beginning and plays a vital role in advertising the GAC events and getting the organization known to the public. “Golfers Against Cancer is an independent, self-governing 501(C)3 charitable organization that has grown from a small grassroots effort in Kingwood, to a national organization with affiliated tournaments and dinners for cancer research held across the country,” said Dewberry. One of the biggest achievements the organization is very proud of is the fact that virtually all of the funds raised from the GAC tournaments, dinners and other activities go directly to cancer research. According to Jones, GAC has funded more than 60 research projects since its inception and believes that its grants, which are approaching $20 million, have actually led to more than $100 million in governmental grants to projects where GAC has been a participant and often a catalyst. On Sunday, Nov. 23, the Sponsors Tournament for diamond and platinum level contributors will be played at The Clubs of Kingwood, Deerwood and the Forest Course at 11 a.m. The main tournament on Monday, Nov. 24, will also be held at The Clubs of Kingwood, on all Deerwood and Kingwood courses, beginning at 10 a.m. The Gala on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 22, will include dinner and live and silent auctions. Jones encourages all Houston area golfers to sign up. Every year, the tournament selects an honoree. Past honorees include the former President George H. Bush, Champions Tour Pro Jim Ferree, Dr. John Stehlin of the Stehlin Foundation, the Roberts family and the Longpre family. This year’s 2008 Special Honoree is 6-year-old cancer survivor Kyle Lograsso. He was diagnosed with Bilateral Retinoblastoma at the age of 2. Since January 2005, he has remained cancer free and began developing his golfing skills. Since falling in love with the game of golf, Lograsso has emerged as young phenomenon in the sport. Lograsso represents a strong inspiration to all individuals battling cancer and brings true meaning to the word hero. Another way to help the organization includes making a donation or volunteering. GAC will welcome all efforts or donations supporters wish to contribute. “The success of our organization is entirely dependent on the support of volunteers,” Dewberry said. To support GAC through sponsorship, participation in the golf tournament and Gala, or simply volunteering, visit the Web site at www.golfersagainstcancer.org. The Web site provides all necessary information regarding the tournament and different ways to help GAC. The GAC’s administrative office can be reached at 281-348-2280.