Stars hit the links for wor­thy cause

The Covington News - - SPORTS - MATT SMITH msmith@cov­news.com

Ge­or­gia golfers had the op­por­tu­nity to play with a few no­table sports celebri­ties for a good cause on Aug. 23 at the Chero­kee Run Golf Club in Cony­ers in the Sec­ond An­nual Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs’ As­so­ci­a­tion Youth Homes Golf Tour­na­ment.

The tour­na­ment, head­lined by for­mer At­lanta Braves stand­outs Marty Perez and Kevin Mill­wood, fea­tured 30 teams in a four­man scram­ble for­mat.

The event ben­e­fits the ef­forts of the Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs’ Youth Homes As­so­ci­a­tion’s to sup­port lo­cal Ge­or­gia youths who have been aban­doned, ne­glected or abused.

The event raised more than $40,000 to fund Youth Home projects last year, and the as­so­ci­a­tion hopes to sur­pass that goal at this year’s tour­na­ment.

“Th­ese are kids who haven’t been in trou­ble, ;hey just have ex­pe­ri­enced a dif­fi­cult home life,” said Mike Leathers, the de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer for the Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs’ Youth Homes As­so­ci­a­tion. “We care for them and sup­port them for as long as they are in school. Our celebri­ties that are with us to­day are great guys and they are more than will­ing to do­nate their as­sis­tance for our cause. One hun­dred per- cent of our pro­ceeds to­day go to the Youth Homes As­so­ci­a­tion, and we are for­tu­nate that Chero­kee Run has given us the op­por­tu­nity to host this event.”

Perez, who has par­tic­i­pated in the event in each of the past two years and is a mem­ber of Chero­kee Run, said that pair­ing with the Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs’ Youth Homes As­so­ci­a­tion was a no-brainer.

“I’ve been in­volved with char­i­ties for 34 years…just watch­ing ev­ery­body hav­ing fun is my thing,” Perez said. “It’s re­ally a great cause to get be­hind and I think we can do a lot for the youth in the state with events like this. There are a lot of good things com­ing out of the event.”

Other sports celebri­ties who par­tic­i­pated in the event in­cluded for­mer Braves’ stand­outs Ryan Klesko, John­nie Estrada and John Rocker.

Leathers said that the as­so­ci­a­tion plans to make the tour­na­ment an an­nual event.

The Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs’ As­so­ci­a­tion Youth Homes As­so­ci­a­tion has six lo­ca­tions in five cities through­out the state in Hahira, Nunez, LaGrange, Chatsworth and Dal­ton.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Ge­or­gia Sher­iffs’ As­so­ci­a­tion Youth Homes As­so­ci­a­tion, visit the as­so­ci­a­tion’s web­site at www. geor­giash­er­iff­sy­outh.org.

Matt Smith /The Cov­ing­ton News

Cony­ers' lo­cal Wil­lie Danzy prac­tices his putts be­fore the start of the Sec­ond An­nual Ge­or­gia Sher­iff's As­so­ci­a­tionYouth Homes Golf Tour­na­ment.

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