Two golfers take practice putts before the 16th annual Deputy Dawg Golf Classic. The event was planned to raise money for the prevention of child abuse.
ALBANY -- The golf carts whizzed off to jockey for position at about 1:30 p.m. Friday in the shotgun start of the 16th Annual Deputy Dawg Golf Classic at the Grand Island Golf Club hosted by the Exchange Club of Albany.
The idea behind a shotgun tee off is that everyone starts off at a different hole but still plays 18 holes. When there are more than 100 players starting at the same time, it offers a smoother start.
"We've raised about $17,000 gross, before expenses to help fund the fight against child abuse," said Bill Banks, Exchange Club secretary. "What we net will go to the national fund and local organizations like Open Arms."
The club's national foundation uses a share of the about $10,000 net the club raises a year in its national campaign, the club's district supports efforts to end child abuse in Statesboro, Rome, Macon and Albany.
Representatives from the local Open Arms organization were on hand to show their gratitude for the support. It was a day that attracted law enforcement officials such as Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul, candidate for District 1 Dougherty County School Board seat Robert Youngblood and golfers from the Marine Corps Logistics base-Albany.
Last year Marine Mark Carabello almost sunk a putt from 50 feet to win the $10,000 prize offered by golf tournament sponsor Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors.
Carabello said that he and fellow golfers Greg Barnetson, John Richard and Tyler Gludt had so much fun they came back this year.
"I just missed that putt by a couple feet last year," Carabello said. "I want to give it another try." The tournament is named after Dougherty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Frank Rodney Sumner, who died in 1995 at age 68. Sumner's nickname Deputy Dawg came when an elementary school student chided him for having too long a name.
Sumner made it his calling to speak to youth about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and crime. For about 20 years he was the Sheriff's Office one-man youth division.