05-04-11-golf-classic.jpgThe joy of motherhood is cherished. Mothers and fathers are delighted to discover that in nine months a new addition will be added to their family. They quickly begin purchasing tiny baby onesies, and bibs with cute sayings. The joy of planning the baby shower is never-ending. They are eager to invite their friends and family in to share their new bundle of joy. Nine months finally pass, and par-ents anxiously wait to see the perfect child God has blessed them. However, some parents deliver babies with medical condition they never dreamed their child would have. Ten percent of the 5,000 babies delivered in Cumberland County are born with a medical condition. These babies need the best care — fast.

For 16 years, Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s umbrella organization Friends of Children, has held its annual Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of Children Golf Classic. The tournament is supported by local businesses and community spon-sorships. The tournament has raised more than $1 million for children’s services at Cape Fear Valley. This year’s golf tournament will take place on May 12 at Cypress Lakes Golf Course.

Co-Chairmen, Tom Costello and Duane DeGaetano, stated that as “fathers we understand how stressful and emotionally draining it can be to care for a sick child.” They feel that they “are fortunate to be able to have the time and resourc-es to care for our families when they are sick.” Caring for families with sick chil-dren is truly their creed. Tournament proceeds have provided a state-of-the-art Giraffe Platform Bed for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This bed has a warm-ing incubator, rotating mattress and built-in scale in one bed, helping eliminate stress of premature babies. Laurin Cooper, father of twin boys who have used the bed said “their access to the Giraffe beds surely saved their lives and increased their chance at normal lives.” Friends of Children have also provided surgi-cal instruments designed for Pediatric Orthopedics; a Shaken Baby Syndrome prevention program; and a SimBaby teaching manikin, which is used to teach emergency medical staff life-saving techniques.

The goal for this year’s tournament is to raise $100,000. These proceeds will be used “in the most crucial areas of children’s services.” By supporting the tournament, you will assist in the completion of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) renova-tions. Once the renovations are complete, the center will have eight private PICU rooms, a central moni-toring system, and a comfortable family waiting and play room.

Friends of Children started in 1991, and since its inception, the organization has helped at least 10 percent of the 5,000 babies born locally each year. The golf tournament was spear-headed by a man with a passion to serve: the late L.B.Floyd.

Funds raised come from sponsorships. Presenting sponsors for this year’s tournament are Rick Hendrick Toyota and CSI Construction Systems, Inc. However, sponsorships for community residents are available. Presenting, Platinum, Gold, and Patron sponsorships are available. To learn more about how to become a sponsor, contact Sabrina Brooks at (910) 615-1449.

Support the 16th Annual Friends of Children Golf Classic on May 12 at Cypress Lakes Golf Course.

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