18Fred McDanielThe second of two annual Region Four Coaches and Officials Emergency Fund golf tournaments is scheduled Oct. 15 at Gates Four Golf and Country Club.

Fred McDaniel, retired student activities director for Cumberland County Schools and one of the original organizers of the tournament, said the event is doing everything it can to raise money for a good cause after the organizers tried to spread charity a little too far.

At one time, money from the fund went to anyone facing a personal crisis due to health or other concerns, McDaniel said. They even sent money to high schools whose athletic facilities had been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

But as the account balance dropped and the annual tournaments didn’t replenish the money already given away, McDaniel said the fund had to change directions. “At the moment, we’re back to where we just help coaches and officials,’’ he said. “We had to go back to the people we were looking to start with.’’

The fund began when the coaches and officials united to help former coach Mark Heil, now retired, deal with the expenses his late son incurred in dealing with serious health problems.

The first tournament was a success, but as the organizers were congratulating themselves, McDaniel said former Pine Forest and E.E. Smith football coach Dean Saffos spoke up. “He said, ‘Fellows, we need to do this all the time, every year, to look after our own,’’’ McDaniel said. “He said if we don’t look after ourselves, who’s going to do it?”

The result was a union between coaches and officials to hold the golf tournaments annually as fundraisers for the cause.

“We can’t make everything well, but we can make it better,” McDaniel said.

This year’s tournament will follow the format of past tournaments. There are slots for 32 teams. Check-in begins at 11 a.m. with lunch at 11:30 and play beginning at 1 p.m. with a shotgun start. The entry fee is $75 per golfer before Oct. 10 and $85 after. The entry fee covers a round of golf, lunch, beverages and prizes.

For further information on the tournament and how to enter, go to the official tournament website, www.regionfour.org.


PHOTO: Fred McDaniel

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