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Maintaining a legacy of giving
The TJ Hailey Scholarship fund will host its first golf tournament
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For those who have passed, there is many ways to carry on their memories, from stories to pictures to, now, Facebook pages.

When 21-year-old TJ Hailey's life was cut short in a car accident in 2003, pictures were cherished and stories were shared. But Hailey's fondness of taking care of others is also being passed along in another way.

Shortly after his passing, the TJ Hailey Annual Scholarship fund was established by Eastridge Community Church.

Early on, $20,000 of funds was available, and since then, most of it has been used on the 23 scholarships given out. Now, Eastridge Community Church and the scholarship fund are presenting its inaugural golf tournament to continue the fund.

The tournament will be held Nov. 9 with a starting time of noon at the Oaks Golf Course. The two-man scramble is $150 per two-man team or $75 per person with whole sponsorships available for $100 and up to two mulligans for $5 each.

"TJ loved people and he loved helping people," said his father Tommy Hailey. "If you come up and asked him for a $5 and he had two in his pocket, he would ask for three more from someone to give to you. He loved people and what better way to carry on someone's memory than to help people."

At the time of his death, Hailey was a student at Georgia College after going to Georgia Perimeter on a baseball scholarship. He was a star student-athlete at Eastside and had played baseball at the Newton County Recreation Commission where his father is director and he worked during the summer.

During the summer of 2003, TJ Hailey was driving back to work from lunch when he was in the fatal accident.

His parents, family and friends were devastated, and not only grieved the loss but also memorialized the life by creating the scholarship.

"After TJ passed, we asked at the time, in lieu of flowers, to give money made out to Eastridge Community Church," Hailey said. "We are excited about it and being able to help, and we know TJ would be too."

After the scholarship was founded, Tommy Hailey and his wife Holly handed the daily duties of maintaining the funds over to a committee at Eastridge Community, but they will forever remained attached to it.

"We will always have money in there," Tommy Hailey said.

"If something were to happen to me or my wife, money will be sent to keep the scholarship going for years. Hopefully, though, nothing will happen to me or her for a while."

The scholarship has been given out to more than 20 participants, starting out at $500 a person, and then was raised to $1,000 each.

"Twenty-three lives have been impacted by establishing this," Hailey said.

The golf tournament was created to continue that tradition and continuing to reach lives through the memory of TJ's giving spirit.