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Posted: August 24, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Stars hit the links for worthy cause

Matt Smith /The Covington News/

Conyers' local Willie Danzy practices his putts before the start of the Second Annual Georgia Sheriff's AssociationYouth Homes Golf Tournament.

Georgia golfers had the opportunity to play with a few notable sports celebrities for a good cause on Aug. 23 at the Cherokee Run Golf Club in Conyers in the Second Annual Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Youth Homes Golf Tournament.

The tournament, headlined by former Atlanta Braves standouts Marty Perez and Kevin Millwood, featured 30 teams in a four-man scramble format.

The event benefits the efforts of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes Association’s to support local Georgia youths who have been abandoned, neglected or abused.

The event raised more than $40,000 to fund Youth Home projects last year, and the association hopes to surpass that goal at this year’s tournament.

"These are kids who haven’t been in trouble, ;hey just have experienced a difficult home life," said Mike Leathers, the development officer for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes Association. "We care for them and support them for as long as they are in school. Our celebrities that are with us today are great guys and they are more than willing to donate their assistance for our cause. One hundred percent of our proceeds today go to the Youth Homes Association, and we are fortunate that Cherokee Run has given us the opportunity to host this event."

Perez, who has participated in the event in each of the past two years and is a member of Cherokee Run, said that pairing with the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes Association was a no-brainer.

"I’ve been involved with charities for 34 years…just watching everybody having fun is my thing," Perez said.

"It’s really a great cause to get behind and I think we can do a lot for the youth in the state with events like this. There are a lot of good things coming out of the event."

Other sports celebrities who participated in the event included former Braves’ standouts Ryan Klesko, Johnnie Estrada and John Rocker.

Leathers said that the association plans to make the tournament an annual event.

The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Youth Homes has six locations in five cities throughout the state in Hahira, Nunez, LaGrange, Chatsworth and Dalton.

For more information about the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association Youth Homes Association, visit the association’s website at www.georgiasheriffsyouth.org.

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