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Deputy Dawg golfers raise cash

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- Whatever the reason -- the Good Friday time off, an altruistic spirit or merely the love of golf -- more than 100 golfers teed off at Grand Island Golf Club on Friday afternoon.

The 15th annual Deputy Dawg Golf Classic, hosted by the Exchange Club of Albany, was expected to enrich the club's child abuse fighting efforts by about $10,000.

This year's first tee off was ceremonial and bittersweet. Wesley Griffin hit the first ball to honor his father, Exchangite Butch "Boss Hog" Griffin, who passed away this year.

"Griffin was always on the Deputy Dawg committee and worked tirelessly to make sure we always had a successful event," said Bill Banks, who serves on the committee. "He was dedicated to our club's child abuse fight and everyone knew him as 'Boss Hog' during the fair because he ran the hog area at the fairgrounds."

Banks, who keeps track of the attendance, said that this year there were 104 golfers contributing to the event. He also said that many hole sponsors and other sponsors were always there when needed for the event.

"I have sponsors that ask why I am calling them up," banks said. "They say don't call me, just send me the bill."

A constant sponsor, Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors, put up $10,000 in a putting contest during the tournament. There ere other prizes involved throughout the match.

This year, golfers could buy a "mulligan," or a do-over shot, for $5, Banks said. It was another way to raise money to help with organizations such as Open Arms in its mission to help abused children and families.

The tournament was named for Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Frank Rodney Sumner, who died in 1995 at age 68. Sumner adopted the nickname as he was chided by an elementary student for having too long a name.

Sumner made speaking to youth about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and crime his life's work. For about two decades he was the Sheriff's Office's one man youth division.

"I'm out here to support the fight against child abuse," Sheriff Kevin Sproul said before tee time. "As law enforcement officials, we see the abuse. This club (the Exchange Club) does a terrific job."