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Veterans First Annual Golf Tournament Raises $6,300 to help bring Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Blue Ridge

October 25, on the steps of the Veterans Conference Center, a check for $6,300 was presented to Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall Project Manager Elaine Owen and Fannin County Veterans Commander George Pletcher by Tournament Director Mike Panter (Left) and Chairman of the Golf Tournament Bob Renneke (Right). Second from Right is Georgia Combat Vet Commander Rob Denison. The money was raised from the Veterans Annual Golf Tournament held October 5 at Copper Basin Golf Club and will be used to help pay expenses for bringing the Wall to Blue Ridge.

By Bree Collar, Sentinel Staff Writer

To help raise money to bring the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall to Blue Ridge, Veteran Bob Renneke organized a community golf tournament at the Copper Basin Golf Club. Tournament Director Mike Panter and Renneke welcomed dozens of supporters October 5 as they gathered on the course that was built in the 1920s.

Those gathering at the nine hole regulation course included six two-person pro flight teams, five two-person first flight teams, four two-person senior flight teams and four two-person co-ed flight teams.

After prescribed rounds were played, the following winners were presented with trophies and awards for top performances in their categories.

Pro flight winning teams included: first place, Tyke Prince and Randall Beavers; second place, Casey Wilson and Ronnie Sanders; and third place, Ronnie Dillard and Clyde Henry.

First flight teams taking top rankings included: first place, Joe Wilson and Wes Wilson; second place, Matt Johnson and Lance Langley; and third place, Jim Brumbelow and Hal Causway.

Golfers following the senior flight competition during the fundraising event taking top rankings included: first place, Thomas Bova and Bob Hamilton; second place, Doug De- Moura and Lou Truemper; and third place, Dennis Graves and Mark Belongie.

The Co-Ed flight teams taking wins included: first place, Mike Panter and Ashley Panter; second place, Ed Wilkin and Janet Wooten; and third place, Eric Lackey and Ava Lackey.

Local resident Betsy Hyde was among the golfers participating in the event. She received an award for longest putt and enjoyed taking part in a dual event.

“It was great to take part in two of my loves, golf and to help honor our veterans who have sacrificed so much to preserve this country I love,” Hyde said.

Renneke said he began brainstorming the idea of hosting a fundraiser for the veterans about three years ago. “When Elaine (Owen) mentioned she was bringing the Vietnam (Traveling) Wall to Blue Ridge, that sparked an interest in me to go ahead and do a fundraiser,” he said. Renneke approached Pan-ter, who is well known in golfing circles, to serve as Tournament Director that Saturday at Copper Basin Golf Club.

After the tournament, Renneke said, “The golf tournament was great, a lot of fun and a great opportunity to raise funds to help bring the (Vietnam Traveling Memorial) Wall to Blue Ridge. Next year, we plan a second tournament to benefit veterans in the Tri-State area. “That’s what we do, we’re vets helping vets.”

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