Alzheimer's hits home for golfer

Photo by Barry Levine

Photo by Barry Levine

ALBANY -- When River Pointe pro golfer Sonny Skinner was asked to be the face of the Alzheimer's Association's 14th annual Forget-Me-Not Golf Tournament, he never hesitated in accepting.

Two months ago, his father, Henry Skinner, passed away at the age of 77 from the disease.

Monday afternoon at Doublegate Country Club, Skinner stood on the 18th green, thanked all 23 teams and nearly 100 golfers individually for their support and offered a few putting tips in the process.

"My reason for being here is to support the Alzheimer's Association, which provides so much help for those unable to help themselves," Skinner said. "There is no cure, and Alzheimer's has touched practically everyone we know. It's touched me personally because my father passed away from it in January."

More than 200,000 Georgians suffer from the disease, and the local association covers 35 counties in Southwest Georgia.

"This event is very important to us," Alzheimer's Association Regional Outreach Director Dan Phillips said. "The money we raise will help fund research and also allow us to provide programs and services to those living in south Georgia who are affected by Alzheimer's."

Skinner agreed.

"I will always be very appreciative for what the Alzheimer's Association did to help my family during that time," Skinner said. "I am doing this to help the association, which in turn helps the community, and I've been very encouraged by the support shown for this even by the Southwest Georgia community.

"It makes me proud."