Golf tourney raises $61,000 for Catholic Charities

Father James Melnick, pastor of St. Augustine Church in Dardanelle, leads the invocation before the first flight. Father Melnick also played in the tournament. Dwain Hebda photo
Father James Melnick, pastor of St. Augustine Church in Dardanelle, leads the invocation before the first flight. Father Melnick also played in the tournament. Dwain Hebda photo
Jim Draper of Little Rock tees off on 18. Draper played for the Rasco Winter Abston Moore & Associates team. In all, 168 players competed in the 19th Bishop McDonald-Catholic Charities Golf Classic. Dwain Hebda photo
Jim Draper of Little Rock tees off on 18. Draper played for the Rasco Winter Abston Moore & Associates team. In all, 168 players competed in the 19th Bishop McDonald-Catholic Charities Golf Classic. Dwain Hebda photo
Justin Bolick of Maumelle putts on the ninth hole while teammates Steven Bennet of Hot Springs (left), Trey McIntosh and Andrew DiPippa, both of Little Rock, look on. Dwain Hebda photo
Justin Bolick of Maumelle putts on the ninth hole while teammates Steven Bennet of Hot Springs (left), Trey McIntosh and Andrew DiPippa, both of Little Rock, look on. Dwain Hebda photo
Gene Widlowski (right) chips onto the 17th green under the watchful tutelage of teammate Ralph Mellonson. Both golfers are from Hot Springs Village. Dwain Hebda photo
Gene Widlowski (right) chips onto the 17th green under the watchful tutelage of teammate Ralph Mellonson. Both golfers are from Hot Springs Village. Dwain Hebda photo
Kevin Norton of Little Rock tracks his drive on the 18th fairway. Norton's team of Rasco Winter Abston Moore & Associates won the first morning flight with a 66. Dwain Hebda photo
Kevin Norton of Little Rock tracks his drive on the 18th fairway. Norton's team of Rasco Winter Abston Moore & Associates won the first morning flight with a 66. Dwain Hebda photo

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by Dwain Hebda
Associate Editor

The 19th annual Bishop McDonald-Catholic Charities Golf Classic was held Sept. 16 at Maumelle Country Club, raising money to support Catholic Charities of Arkansas ministries.

“Beautiful weather and happy golfers,” said Patrick Gallaher, executive director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas, to sum up the event. “It was a fantastic event and we look forward to the future.”

The tournament hosted 168 players, up from last year’s event. Tournament organizers credited a streamlined event for the uptick in interest, as well as the promotion the tournament received within parishes.

“Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hot Springs Village brought eight teams,” he said. “That’s an extraordinary level of participation.”

Gallaher also underscored sponsor participation as a critical component of the event’s continued success. In total, 55 businesses, individuals, parishes and organizations sponsored the event, led by St. Vincent Health System and Dr. Brad and Amy Baltz of Little Rock, co-underwriters of the tourney.

“Our sponsors come back year after year and that’s what makes our golf tournament make money,” Gallaher said. “There are costs to putting this on and sponsors understand that and through their efforts, we are able to devote the proceeds to our programs.”

The event, which raised about $61,000, is the largest event fundraiser on the organization’s calendar. The money is not earmarked for any one area of Catholic Charities’ work, rather, it’s used to “fill gaps” in program funding, Gallaher said.

Outback Steakhouse of Little Rock, comprised of Hiep Ngyen, Brett Lukas, Chris Espes and Tyler Carpenter, won the first morning flight with a score of 56. Winning the second morning flight was Rasco Winter Abston Moore & Associates of Little Rock, made up of Kevin Norton, Alan Abston, Tom May and Jim Draper who shot 66.

First flight of the afternoon was won by North Little Rock’s Metro Appliances and More team of Todd Krauser, Eddie Craven, Bill Dennis and Bob Frederickson who shot 54. Second flight honors went to Las Palmas Restaurant of Little Rock, made up of Armando Atilano, Bob Fortner, Jaime Atilano and Luis Atilano with a 61. The team of Deacon John Hall, Don Borchert, Cam Lohstoeter and Shane Parker won the third afternoon flight, shooting 69.

Dwain Hebda

You can see Dwain Hebda’s byline in Arkansas Catholic and dozens of other online and print publications. He attends Our Lady of the Holy Souls Church in Little Rock.

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