CULLMAN — With all the “smart” technology available these days, it made sense that Cullman Regional Medical Center would want some for its facility.
In this instance, it’s smart beds that CRMC has been trying to raise money for. The beds’ amenities span from having a scale in it to weigh the patients all the way to being able to take vitals and input it into each person’s medical chart.
Of course, smart beds aren’t the only things CRMC wants to bring to upgrade the hospital. Overall, it wants to completely revamp the interior and bring it up-to-date.
“The renovations, the refurbishing the rooms, it’s going to be more of a home-like environment, like aesthetically, to promote more of a healing environment,” said Maria Stanford, the director of marketing. “The color in the rooms, the ease in the bathroom, in the shower. It’s a complete renovation, really.”
On Monday when the CRMC Foundation hosted its 21st annual Million Dollar Golf Extravaganza at TP Country Club, the goal was to raise $35,000 to put towards the “Refresh-A-Room” campaign, where the rooms at the hospital can get a makeover.
“The hospital was opened back in February of 1995, so just like anybody’s home or business, it needs a little refreshing and renovating, so there’s a lot of neat components along with the ‘Refresh-A-Room,’” Stanford said.
This particular golf tournament is more than the typical fundraiser, though. In addition to a four-man scramble, it also offers a putting contest, a long drive competition, a helicopter ball drop and a chance at $1 million on a hole-in-one shot.
With 36 teams in attendance this year for the four-man scramble, each hole had two teams playing on it. At 144 golfers, Stanford didn’t think meeting their goal would be a problem at all.
“Once we take out all our expenses, it’ll be close to $40,000,” she said.
According to CRMC president Jim Weidner, this tournament is one of their primary fundraisers annually.
“It’s one of the major tournaments that the foundation has,” he said. “I think we have over $40,000 in sponsorships alone, so obviously it’s critical for us.
“This community is so friendly and willing to dig into their pockets to support critical infrastructure like health care. It’s a blessing for me to be here in Cullman and have such wonderful friends that are so supportive of the hospital.”
With so many golfers competing, it did make time management an concern. The four-man scramble started about 10 minutes earlier than scheduled, but then there were other changes in the rules just to speed things up. While they used to sell mulligans throughout the scramble so the golfers could use them on a bad hole, they opted to sell mulligan packages before the scramble started.
Taking away the option of purchasing mulligans throughout the game will hopefully keep things moving a little quicker.
Because this tournament has been going on for the past 21 years, a lot of the golfers have participated regularly over the years.
“My favorite part is getting to see everyone playing in it,” said regular participant Charlie NeSmith. “There’s always so many playing in it.”
For newcomers like John Guidroz from Pensacola, Fla., they got to see how the community has rallied around this cause for so long.
“We’ve seen a lot of people that have been shocked to see people from out of town come to play in this,” he said. “But we saw some people who said they’d been doing it 15 years.”
Guidroz, along with his team, represented Medico Services, a company out of Huntsville that was one of the sponsors for the $1 million ball drop.
Their team, which also included Danny Adams and Mike Bregenzer, won one of the drawn prizes at the end.
Andrew Burke, playing on the Blue Cross Blue Shield group, won the $500 prize associated with the helicopter ball drop. While his ball landed closest to the hole, if someone else’s had actually gone in, the prize would’ve been $1,000.
The top four qualifiers competing for the million-dollar hole-in-one shot were Chase Kennedy, Thomas Glover, Lee Caldwell and Andrew Freeman.
Though none of the hit the money shot, Caldwell was named the overall winner with a shot four feet and seven inches from the hole.
Guidroz also took the title of longest drive winner, while Chris Kelsey won the putting contest.
The four-man scramble tournament winners were in the J.L. Morgan team: Jeff Morgan, Robert Swinney, Tommy Bagwell and Greg Benefield.
The other places that won prizes were Nos. 7, 16, 34 and 36.
Group 7 was the Charter media group with Dave Sargent, Jonathan Henderson, Doug Smith and Bill Lewis.
Group 16 was the Cullman Savings Bank and included Greg Barksdale, Alan Wood, Mike Duke and Mark Ellard.
In Group 34 was Dr. Jim Hoover, Dr. Benjamin Rogers, Dr. Phil Freeman and Lane Friedman.
Finally, group 36, the CRMC IT department team, was William Mann, David Quick, Graham Moore and Ed King.
% Laura Owens can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at email@example.com.