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Golf Classic flirts with record proceeds

AHOSKIE n Flirting with a record.

As of Friday, officials with the Josh Lane Golf Classic (JLGC) were still tabulating the final results of the sixth annual event, one held Tuesday at Beechwood Country Club as a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

To date, the figure stands at a shade over $37,000. That total does not include an ongoing raffle, one ending Oct. 1.

"We still hoping to exceed last year's record of $39,000," said David Lane, chairman of the JLGC committee. "We still have the raffle and will not know how much that will add until the drawing on Oct. 1. Plus, as we did last year, we'll have other donations coming in after the tournament."

Lane was exceptionally pleased with this year's turnout as a record 36, four-person teams completed in the event. The only drawback was the weather, but even intermittent rain showers failed to dampen the spirits of those on the course or behind the scenes as volunteers.

"Everybody I talked to said they much preferred the rain over the blazing heat we've had recently," Lane noted. "It never really came down hard, just a slow, easy rain that cooled things off."

The rain definitely failed to cool off a "hot" foursome sponsored by Jim Shotwell of Murfreesboro. That group n Sammy Brinkley, Billy Copeland, Bobby Joe Edwards and Shotwell n carded a 20 under-par to win by two strokes.

Runner-up honors went to Tim Phelps, Adam Furlough, Bruce Jones and Ken Kion n a foursome sponsored by WERX-FM "The Shark."

However, the real winner was the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as all proceeds from the event help support the efforts of that organization as they seek out a cure for diabetes.

"If needed, we'll be out here again on Aug. 8, 2006 in a continuing effort to help find a cure," said Lane, the father of 13-year-old Josh Lane, a juvenile diabetic since age 5. "I'd much rather have a cure discovered by then. If so, we'll get together and play golf just for the fun."

Meanwhile, Lane awaits the final financial numbers for this year. If the $40,000 barrier is reached, the Josh Lane Golf Classic will be responsible for raising $180,000 in just six short years.

"Who would have thought six years ago that a little golf tournament in Hertford County could raise that kind of money," Lane said. "But thanks to those who have joined us in this fight against diabetes, we've been able to grow and attract additional corporate sponsorships. It's thanks to our many sponsors, the golfers and the volunteers that we've grown to this point."

To prove how far the event has come in such a short period of time, this year's Classic attracted its first national celebrity n Chuck Roberts, the daytime anchor on CNN Headline News, based in Atlanta, Ga.

"I had a great time here and met some really nice people," Roberts said. "I was impressed with this tournament and the people who joined together in an effort to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes."

According to Lane, Roberts said he would like to be invited to next year's event.

As has been the case for six years, the tournament signals out one particular young man who performs a daily ritual to keep his diabetes under control.

"I want to thank everyone for their support of this golf tournament," Josh Lane said. "With the money raised here and all the other money coming in for research, maybe a cure can be found for me and everyone else with diabetes."

It's not too late to help Josh and millions of other diabetics cure themselves of this medical disorder. Donations are still being accepted as well as raffle tickets (the winner receives tickets and a parking pass for the UNC at NC State basketball game during the 2005-06 season) remaining on sale.

To make a donation or to learn how to purchase a raffle ticket, contact Lane at 539-2236, ext 243.