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Posted: August 27, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Love on the links

Refuge Pregnancy Center to host fundraising tournament at The Oaks on Sept. 20

By Chris Queen/

For the children: Sharon Robuck, Administrative Assistant for Refuge Pregnancy Center, holds a club that will be given as a prize at the tournament. Golfers can sign up to participate, and non-golfers can sponsor someone on the course.

Attention golfers: are you looking for a way to save lives and make a difference in the community while playing the sport you love? Next month, you have the opportunity to do just that. Refuge Pregnancy Center is hosting the 2010 Cari Hilton Memorial Golf Tournament on Sept. 20 from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Oaks course in Covington. Proceeds from the tournament benefit the center.

The tournament is using a marathon format; the format is similar to a walk-a-thon. Participants will solicit pledges from family, friends, and acquaintances, and at the tournament they will play 100 holes between sunrise and 1 p.m. Golfers will get in 100 holes by playing multiple balls per hole — two balls on Par 4 and Par 5 holes and three balls on Par 3 holes. All of the fees are paid for, and lunch, snacks and drinks are provided. There are prizes for golfers, and the participant who raises the most money will receive a special prize.

"This format actually raises more money for Refuge Pregnancy Center, and that’s the ultimate goal," said Jimmy Rogers, a local businessman and member of the Board of Directors at Refuge who is heading up the tournament. "Golfers can just sort of treat it as a great practice round."

Refuge is looking for 15 golfers to play in the tournament and raise $1,000 each. Rogers says that the goal of raising $1,000 per golfer is not as difficult as it sounds. Soliciting small donations adds up quickly. Tournament participants do not have to collect the money themselves; the center will take care of collecting proceeds after the tournament.

In 2009, the tournament netted around $4,000, and Refuge is looking to raise at least that much this year. This year the funds are needed to help the center maintain its daily operations.

Refuge Pregnancy Center has been in operation since 1984, and they have been in their current facility at 1307 Milstead Avenue in Conyers for the past three years. 2010 has been a particularly successful year for the center. In an average year, the center performs 326 ultrasounds and sees 538 new clients; through the end of July 2010, Refuge has seen 500 new clients and performed 362 ultrasounds. On average, the center saves 106 babies from abortion, but this year they have saved 97 babies to date.

"The tournament is crucial to us, especially this year, because we have greater needs, and we have not seen as many donations in this economy," said Sharon Robuck, Administrative Assistant for Refuge.

In addition to performing ultrasounds and counseling pregnant women, the center offers many other services. They conduct post-abortion counseling and hold GED courses and parenting support classes for mothers and fathers. The center helps pregnant women and mothers in need by providing maternity clothes, diapers, baby food and formula, and clothes for babies and children up to 24 months.

"We never want to leave new mothers alone," said Robuck. "The last thing we want to do is save a baby from being aborted and then just tell the mother ‘good luck’ and leave them on their own."

How can non-golfers help? The easiest way is to sponsor a golfer. If anyone wishes to contribute but does not know anyone who plays golf, Rogers says he can pair up potential sponsors and donors with golfers who are raising money. Church groups and other organizations can put together prize baskets to donate to the tournament as well. In addition to raising funds through the golf tournament, the center is always in need of items for new mothers, such as baby food, diapers, and maternity clothes.

Refuge believes that the services they provide are important because they save lives, but they also work to save souls. The volunteers and staff at the center share the Gospel with their clients, and they encourage the faith of clients who already profess to be Christians.

"We witness to their needs by trying to be like Christ by meeting their needs first like he did, all the time planting seeds," said Robuck.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the tournament as a golfer or as a donor can e-mail Jimmy Rogers at jrogers@rg2.biz and using the subject line "Refuge Golf." To learn more about Refuge Pregnancy Center, visit www.refugepregnancycenter.com or call (770) 922-5939.

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