Fundraiser hits all-time high

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 13, 2003

AHOSKIE – From lemonade sales to corporate sponsorships and all points in-between, the fourth annual Josh Lane Golf Classic was by far the best ever – topping the $30,000 mark for the first time ever.

The event, held here Tuesday at Beechwood Country Club, is a fund-raising effort to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). In just four years, the Josh Lane Classic has raised over $100,000 to aid in a national effort to find a cure for diabetes. JDRF is listed as one of the most effective non-profit agencies in the United States, dedicating 87 cents of every dollar raised towards finding a cure.

For David Lane and his wife, Deborah, finding that cure is a top priority. Their son, Josh, age 11, has diabetes.

&uot;Most people don’t look at diabetes as a major disease, but they miss seeing the big picture – the long-term effects it can have on a person,&uot; said Lane who founded this golf tournament four years ago in honor of his son.

He continued, &uot;Most people will look at Josh and see a healthy young boy, but they can’t see what’s going on inside of his body. He acts just like any other young boy his age…he runs, jumps and plays sports. His diabetes can be controlled with proper diet and medication, but it’s the long-term effects of this disease that concerns his mother and I. We will continue our battle to help find a cure as long as there is breath inside our bodies.&uot;

And battle they did on a hot, humid day on Tuesday.

Highlighted by a record 144 golfers and supported by a small army of volunteers, the Josh Lane Classic became the largest, single-day golfing event in northeastern North Carolina. It surpassed their previous record of 140 golfers last year.

&uot;To think that we went into this thing four years ago with a dream of raising $5,000,&uot; Lane recalled. &uot;We almost hit $30,000 that first year and have averaged between $25,000-to-$28,000 since that time. Now it looks like we will easily surpass $30,000. This is fantastic. This is a tribute to all who support our efforts, either through sponsorship, participation or by volunteering.&uot;

Behind those efforts is a pair of corporate heavyweights – Glover Construction of Pleasant Hill and Roanoke Electric Cooperative/Touchstone Energy of Rich Square.

&uot;They’ve been with me since day one,&uot; stated Lane. &uot;Both are extremely supportive of our efforts and both send volunteers to help on the day of the tournament. A person cannot ask for better people to work with on a project of this magnitude than Matt Glover and Curtis Wynn.&uot;

While the corporations are backing the fund-raising campaign with thousands of dollars, Lane didn’t overlook those who gave of what time, money and effort they could afford.

&uot;There are just so many people I want to personally thank, but I feel like if I get started with those names I’ll inadvertently leave someone out,&uot; noted Lane. &uot;They know who they are and the people associated with this golf tournament know who they are. If I had to just put it all in a nutshell, I’d say thanks to all the sponsors, the golfers, the (planning) committee members and to the community as a whole for making this tournament the success it is today.&uot;

In a special salute, Lane thanked one little girl in particular.

&uot;Right before we started our awards banquet, Elizabeth Joyner, the daughter of Don and Lu Ann Joyner, came up to me and handed me $44.50,&uot; acknowledged Lane. &uot;They live near the tee box on the fourth hole here at Beechwood and she went out on a hot day and set-up a lemonade stand. She raised $44.50 and donated it to the JDRF. That touched my heart.&uot;

As far as the &uot;big money&uot; was concerned, $20,000 was raised through entry fees and corporate sponsors, $8,000 came via sponsorships for tee and green signs, well over $3,000 was generated through a live auction conducted by David Bowen and all prize money (a combined $900 in cash for the members of the top three teams) plus $80 in raffle winnings was returned to the JDRF.

&uot;That shows you the heart of those who play in our tournament,&uot; stressed Lane. &uot;These men and women pay their ($250 per team) entry fee and can expect a little in return if they win. But yet they go out on a hot day, have some fun playing golf and then contribute their winnings back to the Foundation. That takes a special person and we’re blessed with an abundance of them here at the Josh Lane Classic.&uot;

The top three foursomes were, in order, the team of Rodney Taylor, Billy Williams, John Williams and Kent Williams (a first-place score of 51); the team of Jerry Brett, Randy Whitley, Andy Campbell and Joe Jenkins (52) and the team of Jim Shotwell, Bill Bangley, George Parker and Cliff Fehr (57).

Most of the golfers were impressed with how well the course held-up in light of all the recent rain.

&uot;Eddie Pinnix (Beechwood’s golf pro) and his staff are to be commended for the job they did in allowing us to host this tournament here at Beechwood,&uot; said Lane. &uot;They did a great job in getting the course ready and playable. I don’t know how they pulled it off considering all the rain we’ve had this summer, especially the past couple of weeks.&uot;

But, stealing a line from the postman’s creed, Lane will not be deterred by rain, sleet, snow or dark of night in his quest to help his son and millions of others like him.

&uot;On behalf of the 17 million Americans with diabetes, we thank you all for helping us find a cure,&uot; concluded Lane. &uot;It is our wish not to have a fifth annual Josh Lane Classic because then, and only then, we will know that a cure has been found. But if not, we’ll be right back here again next year (Aug. 10, 2004).&uot;

To learn more about JDRF and the Josh Lane Classic, visit their website at