Josh Lane Classic tops $30,000

Published 7:27 am Saturday, August 14, 2010

AHOSKIE – They came from Raleigh, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Wilson, southside Virginia and even from as far as Alabama.

Why do so many individuals go to such trouble to drive great distances and swing a golf club on a hot summer day? They do it for Josh Lane and the millions of others like him suffering from juvenile diabetes.

For the 11th consecutive year, all roads seem to lead to Beechwood Country Club and the Josh Lane Golf Classic, an event that has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Held Tuesday (Aug. 10), the 2010 version of the Classic attracted 36 teams, making it remain as the largest single-day golfing event in the Roanoke-Chowan area.

Preliminary numbers from this year’s Classic reveal that over $32,000 was raised….nearly $3,500 more than last year.

This year’s winning teams were:

Morning Flight: 1st place – Gregory Poole Equipment Company of Raleigh (Rick Tate, Walter Stanfield, Billy Clark and Wally McKeel; score: 56); 2nd place – Berry Plastics of Ahoskie (Mark Burge, Todd Bennett, Barney Ladd and Virginia Lane; score of 61).

Afternoon Flight: 1st place – Ridgecroft School of Ahoskie (J.E. Dilday, Elton Winslow, Dennis Everett and Bobby Joe Edwards; score: 57); 2nd place – East Carolina Radio of Nags Head (Carroll Forehand, Bruce Jones, Darrel Davenport and Tim Phelps; score: 58).

“I’d like to thank everyone for coming out on such a hot day,” said David Lane of Murfreesboro, the father of Josh Lane. “We were pleasantly surprised…the number of golfers was up from last year although the number of sponsorships were down a bit, but I understand that with the economy like it is.”

Named for his son, Josh, now age 18 and a recent graduate of Ridgecroft School, David Lane and his wife, Deborah, founded the Classic in 1999. The first Classic was held a year later.

“When we first started we were hoping to raise a couple thousand dollars,” David said. “We wound up raising about ten thousand that year and it’s grown from there.”

As it has been from day one, it was the wish of the Lane family not to conduct the tournament the following year. That would mean a cure has been found.

“Diabetes research is moving forward every year, but there’s yet to be a cure,” David noted. “We’ll keep having these tournaments until that happens.”

The 2010 event featured a newcomer….5-year-old Aurora Freeman of Greenville, the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Freeman of Ahoskie. As the recently crowned North Carolina Watermelon Festival Princess, Aurora made her rounds in that capacity at Beechwood on Tuesday. She also has juvenile diabetes, diagnosed at age three.

“It’s for children like Aurora and for young adults such as Josh that we make each and every effort to find a cure,” David Lane said. “She’s at the age now when Josh was first diagnosed; it makes you feel for her and the others like her…the things they have to go through with the finger sticks and the shots.”

He continued, “From looking at their outward appearance, nothing seems out of the ordinary. It’s what their bodies are going through that you don’t see. That disease manifests itself as they become older, which leads to more health problems.”

For the second consecutive year, the Classic welcomed TV celebrity Kelly Gaita, a Lifestyle Correspondent with FOX43. She mingled with the crowd, even going as far as to make the rounds on the course where, for a donation to JDRF, she would attempt to sink a putt.

JDRF is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research worldwide. Since 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $680 million to diabetes research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

To learn more or to make a donation on behalf of the Josh Lane Golf Classic, visit