The Classic celebrates 21 years with successful, if soggy, day

The 21st annual Blount Memorial Foundation and Community Outreach golf tournament, The Classic, was held on a rainy Monday, Sept. 27.

The weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the golfers, however, as many still turned out for both morning and afternoon sessions. The Classic golf tournament began in 1989, the first year the Foundation was started, as one of the ways the Foundation raises money to serve people in Blount County who are going through rough times.

“We have such a good time planning this and a lot of fun during the tournament, but it’s important not to forget why we do this,” Blount Memorial Foundation director Jane Andrews said.

The foundation director said the golf tournament is part of the “symphony of sharing, as a lot of people are coming together to make something happen.”

Andrews said that while patients are at Blount Memorial Hospital, they get excellent care from competent medical and hospital staff. But when they go home, it sometimes can be a different story, she said.

“Some patients may go home to no food or no means of paying their electric bill, as they spent their last dollar on their medical care. This can make their post-hospital recovery difficult, or even impossible,” Andrews said. “We try to close that gap to allow these folks to truly recover and enjoy the quality of life that many of us take for granted.”

The Foundation assists with “very basic needs” such as utility bills, grocery vouchers, transportation costs or medications that allow someone to be able to go home from the hospital and continue treatment.

The format of The Classic is a two-man swat, with four flights. Each round is flighted, and prizes are awarded for Hole-in-One, Closest to the Pin, Longest Drive, Longest Putt and Closest to the Line.

The Blount Memorial Foundation board of directors first implemented the tournament as a way to have fun while benefiting the community, and it has continued to grow during the last 21 years to become the best tournament in Blount County, organizers say. And the biggest reason the hospital’s golf tournament tends to go off without a hitch is due to the friends and supporters of the Foundation and sponsors of the golf tournament, says Andrews. Andrews thanks Egwani Farms, Rural/Metro, all of the tournament sponsors and participants, and the Blount Memorial board of directors, administration, marketing department, and food and nutrition services department for their support.

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