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The grandest rally of all—Lockwood Folly

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The Lockwood Folly Ladies Golf Association has been hosting a Rally for the Cure since 1997. Rally for the Cure is a national initiative to fund breast cancer research and awareness programs through the game of golf. It falls under the umbrella of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

This Lockwood Folly Rally for this year was Oct. 30 and raised $22,500. In total, the Lockwood LGA has raised more than $293,000 for the Komen foundation since its first Rally for the Cure.

Amazing!

Last week I sat around a table in the Lockwood clubhouse with Jane Judd, Sheila Shreiber, Shirley McIntosh, Susanne Thompson and Laura Botto and listened to the inside story of what makes their Rally tick so well and for so long.

Shirley McIntosh and Kathy Degillio were the very first chairwomen when the Lockwood Ladies Golf Association was just being formed.

“Our chairlady, Lina Sarmataro, got a mailing from the Rally for the Cure offices in Connecticut and gave it to me,” Shirley said. “I didn’t know anything about Rally, but we learned quickly and a month later, held our first Rally. The national office gave us great advice and good support and we were able to pull it off.”

Year by year the Rally grew. Silent auctions were added, a couples’ golf tournament was organized, raffle tickets were sold. A ladies card party and luncheon became part of the festivities.

Now the event is something that is literally a year-round project.

“It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun,” said Shirley. “One person, one committee cannot do it all. The community has to buy into it. We all take pride in what happens each year.”

After running the Lockwood Rally for five years, Shirley and Kathy backed off.

“We didn’t want to drop it, but we were getting tired. It was such a high, yet we were exhausted when it was over. But before we were over bring tired, we were thinking about next year and how we could make it better.”

The torch did not drop, but has been carried forward by others. This year Laura Botto was chairwoman with Jane Judd.

Before moving to Brunswick County, Laura worked for the University of Michigan in the Comprehensive Cancer Center.

“I know how devastating cancer can be, and I wanted to help. The community support here is outstanding.”

Each year, the community plants memorial flags in honor of survivors and victims of breast cancer but also those who have succumbed to other cancers, other illnesses.

“It’s a way of remembering special people,” Jane said. “This year we had over 130 personalized pink flags around the 18th green, and on holes 1, 10, 12 and 14. When you see them all scattered around the course, waving in the breeze, it takes your breath away.”

In addition to the pink flags, businesses, civic groups and individuals buy hole sponsorships for $100.

“This year, one of our wonderful men, Ron White, passed away,” Sheila Shreiber said. “His wife took 21 hole sponsorships in his honor. Each sign had a different personalized message on it about Ron. Each one symbolized some aspect of his life.”

Sayings included “A True Southern Gentleman,” “Texas Hold’em Was His Game,” “We Love You and Miss You, Ron.”

“It felt like Ron was there in spirit all day long,” Sheila said.

Men are a big part of the Rally at Lockwood. Doug Welbun did a large counted cross- stitch picture of the 13th hole at Augusta National.

“It took him three years to make it and it had been exhibited at numerous art galleries,” said Jane. “He gave it us and said we could sell it or raffle it, whatever we wanted, and keep the money for the Rally.”

On the day of the Rally, male volunteers are found at the closest-to-the-pin holes, the chipping and putting contests. Two men in tuxedos serve mimosas out on the course.

For the luncheon, the favors are always made by members of Lockwood Folly. This year, they were hand-painted wine glasses. Other years, the favors have been hand-painted jewelry boxes, picture frames or Christmas tree ornaments.

The Rally for the Cure Card Party is a well-attended event each year.

“We don’t just play bridge, the luncheon is for everyone,” said Susanne. “There’s always a scrabble game, other card games. It’s just another way for the women, golfers and non-golfers alike to celebrate and to support the Rally. We’re always sold out for the Card Party.”

Auctions help bring in more funds and admittedly, items are often raffled off for more than they are worth.

“There’s a certain amount of jovial checkbook envy that happens at every auction,” Susanne said. “We have ‘Vanna Girls’ going around selling tickets. This year a Santa Claus statue that was worth $129 was bid up to over $700. One big auction item was a photo of Michael Jordan when he came here to play golf. Someone took the picture of him and got him to autograph a towel. That framed combination went for $550.”

Each year, the Rally committee is tied in to the national Rally for the Cure offices. Some people have suggested over the years that the money would be well spent for breast cancer victims in Brunswick County.

“We hear what they say and understand those feelings, but we have had such success with the Komen foundation. They sponsor these events all over the country and give us great support. There are Walks for the Cure, and Tennis Tournaments for the Cure all over the country. They let us determine what we want to do to raise the funds for them. If we want to do a dinner dance, that’s fine,” said Sheila.

“We have also checked on their overhead costs and they are minimal. A huge percentage of the funds we raise go directly to breast cancer research and awareness programs. There is very little overhead. It’s a very reputable charity with a proven track record.”

This next year will be a big one for the Lockwood ladies. With their current track record, they should top the $300,000 mark of funds raised for Rally for the Cure.

Today, there are many women’s golf associations in Brunswick County that have a Rally for the Cure. Each one is important and deserves our praise.

Speaking as a woman and the mother of four daughters, I pray the day comes when we no longer need to Rally for the Cure.

In the meantime, let’s all support Rally for the Cure. It’s certainly a day to remember.

Golf Gab Groaner

Two senior citizens, Mack and Joseph, are playing golf one fine Saturday morning.

Mack mentions he is going to get a new set of dentures from Dr. Eisenberg next week.

Joseph tells him he got a new set of dentures from Dr. Eisenberg six months ago.

“Really? Did he do a good job?” asks Mack.

“Well, put it this way: I was on the course on Wednesday when a guy on the ninth hole hit a big snap hook right at me,” said Joseph. “The ball must have been going 200 miles per hour when it hit me in the stomach.

“That,” he added, “was the first time in six months that my dentures didn’t hurt.”

ELSA BONSTEIN is a golf columnist for the Beacon. Reach her at elanbon@atmc.net.