Progress for Prostate to hold 11th annual golf tournament

Date Published: 
May 30, 2014

In the last decade, one local fundraiser has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars to help fight prostate cancer. Progress for Prostate was created in 2004 by Bethany Beach resident Bob Davis after conquering his own battle with prostate cancer.

“Many of the committee members and strong supporters of this successful annual event are prostate cancer survivors and want to raise the awareness and need for men to get properly screened and screened often. Early screenings and detection saves lives,” said Thomas Protack, director of development at the Beebe Medical Foundation.

The main fundraising event is a golf tournament, hosted at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, where individuals or foursomes can play18 holes to raise funds for a good cause. Since its creation, the event has raised $208,732 for the Beebe Medical Foundation, and organizers hope to raise $30,000 with this year’s tournament.

“Funds have been used to help purchase a community health van and provide free screenings for prostate cancer throughout Sussex County,” said Protack. “Just like raising the awareness for women getting regular mammograms, the same rings true for men. Often, men are reluctant, hesitant or maybe even unaware of the need to be screened regularly.

“It is critical, and the more we can do to raise awareness and provide the screenings for free and have them regularly and accessible to Sussex County residents is essential.”

This year, the tournament will be held on June 26, with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start. It is open to men and women of all skill levels. Individuals may register for $125 or foursomes may register for $500. Those who play in the tournament will receive a light breakfast before the tournament begins, are provided snacks courtesy of Wawa and may attend the awards luncheon following the tournament’s end.

“The front nine is going to be straight golf, with Holly Kia offering a free car to anyone who makes a hole-in-one on the No. 7 hole,” said Drew Sunderlin, who chairs the fundraiser. “The back nine is a series of different types of fun holes, where we have multiple prizes that can be won by participants. Anyone, regardless of skill level, will have the opportunity to win a prize.”

A putting contest will also be held during the day, sponsored by Cellular Connection.

“We will have prizes for both men and women in the putting contest,” he said.

Sunderlin said early this week that nine foursomes were already signed up. He noted that Pebble Beach has donated embroidered shirts to those golfers who sign up for the tournament by May 30. But those who wish to participate in the event may still register after that.

Sunderlin took over the 2014 event from Davis, who stepped back from the tournament this year.

“Bob approached me last year. He had been doing it for 10 years and felt it needed some new blood, and asked if I would be willing to do it. Being a prostate survivor myself, I said I would.”

Sunderlin said this year’s Progress for Prostate will be bigger than ever, with wonderful live and silent auction items for people to bid on.

“We have just a phenomenal turnout this year. The community could not be more generous in their donations to us. We have over 100 vendors and individuals who have donated product or money, and we’re still a month away from the tournament.”

Silent auction items will be available for viewing from noon on June 25 to 2 p.m. on June 26.

The four live auction items, which will be auctioned off at 2 p.m. on June 26, are a golf cap signed by Arnold Palmer; dinner for four at Moshulu, the tall ship on Delaware River, one room for one night at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia, and one room for one night at the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia.

The package also includes a round of golf for four at Odessa National; a round trip for two vehicles on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, one round of golf for four at Atlantic City Country Club, dinner for four, plus two hotel rooms for an overnight stay at Daddy O on Long Beach Island, N.J., and lunch for four at The Plantation in Harvey Cedars, N.J.; and one week vacation for four in Hilton Head, S.C., at a condo, with a round of golf for four at Bear Creek and a round of golf for four at Crescent Pointe.

Bidding on silent auction items will also close that day. They will include items for men, women and children. Sunderlin said there will be gift certificates to area restaurants, beach baskets with bodyboards and fishing rods, tickets to the Philadelphia Wine Festival and a “basket of cheer.”

“We have an artist in New Jersey who is donating three charcoal-pencil drawings of golfers. You look at these, and you’d think they were photographs — it’s that good,” he added.

Those who wish to bid on the items do not need to purchase lunch on that day; however, the bidders do need to be present.

Sunerlin said that this year’s committee has been extremely instrumental in the fundraiser’s success.

“It’s just a matter of getting a good committee,” he said. “We have an excellent committee — 12 people all have shared in the challenges of approaching vendors and getting assistance. They’re really great.”

On Wednesday, June 25, the night before the tournament, there will be dinner and a magic show, featuring Rich Bloch of Millville’s Dickens Parlour Theatre. Anyone may attend the dinner, which costs $35 per person.

“We will also be having Macy’s jewelry being live-auctioned after the magic show, as well as a 50-50,” added Sunderlin.

The tournament-day sponsor is Devon Engineering, with Wells Fargo Advisors out of Collegeville, Pa., serving as the title sponsor. Along with event sponsors for the day, Sunderlin said that area Walgreens are teaming up with Progress for Prostate to help raise even more money.

“Five of the local Walgreens have partnered with Progress for Prostate and are collecting spare change that people have, at their counters, and making a one-time donation just prior to the tournament. Next year, plans are to expand that.”

Protack said that having community fundraising events like Progress for Prostate has allowed the Beebe Medical Foundation to work to keep Sussex County healthy.

“Thankfully, as a not-for-profit community healthcare system, Sussex County residents strongly support Beebe and its continued growth. Beebe’s vision is to make Sussex County the healthiest county in the nation, and it starts by being preemptive and trying to keep people healthy and out of the hospital.

“Our goal is to educate the population and help them grow in awareness. Community fundraisers contribute to our continued growth. It is hard to believe that, in 2016, Beebe will be 100 years old! We have grown from a four-bed hospital in 1916 to a healthcare system with seven locations countywide. The support of local fundraisers, businesses, donors helps us grow and meet the growing needs of Sussex County.”

Sunderlin said he believes this year’s efforts could raise in excess of $30,000, and he hopes many people in the community will take part in the event to raise awareness and help prevent a life-threatening illness.

“My hope is this will be the biggest and best year to date, as far as participation and donations to Progress for Prostate,” he said. “I hope people come out and have a good time.”

Those who are interested in registering for the event may call the Pro Shop at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club, at (302) 539-1446. Brochures are also available. Cripple Creek is located at 29494 Cripple Creek Drive in Dagsboro.