By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
The past couple of years haven’t been the best financially for Brooks’ Place, the Child Advocacy Center of Cullman.
On Monday, however, the organization, which provides forensic investigations for child sexual abuse, partnered with TP Country Club to put on the 13th annual Brooks’ Place Golf Tournament.
Patrick Ray, vice president of Brooks’ Place, had nothing but positive things to say following the tourney’s conclusion.
“For it being the first time we’ve had it at TP and the weather being good, it was great,” he said. “Everyone had a good time, and I was real pleased with it.”
More than 30 golfers came out for the tournament, which featured a four-man scramble format. Golfers also got to partake in free concessions, as well as take home some pretty nice door prizes, including a Yeti cooler and a flatscreen TV.
Kim Bevis, the director of Brooks’ Place, said that although the organization holds other fundraisers throughout the year, the annual golf tournament remains its bread and butter.
“It’s been our largest one over the years,” she said. “The sponsors, teams, people who contribute door prizes, food and everything we need have been just great. This does a lot of good for our organization.”
Money earned from Monday’s tournament will be funneled into the center’s general fund, which will help pay for — among other things — staff, programs and counseling for children.
With the Penn State scandal still fresh on the minds of many, Bevis knows what repercussions a tightening budget could have on the Advocacy Center.
“Everyone is more aware and attuned,” Bevis said. “We work with those type of kids. We have 200 a year that come through our facility. The budget is being cut every time I turn around, so this tournament is great for our kids and to help keep the center open and functioning where it is now.”
Cullman graduate Blaise Wilson, along with teammates Kurt Apel, Ronnie Apel and Eric Nixon took home first-place honors with a sensational score of 52.
Wilson, who plays in a plethora of golf tournaments, said he made it a personal effort to get involved with the Brooks’ Place tourney this year.
“I’m usually back in Florence by now,” he said. “I made sure to get in it this time. It’s always fun to play golf, but to help out others means a lot more.
“I know a lot of people who maybe didn’t have the best upbringing, myself included, so helping out someone else is always better than helping out yourself.”
Ray added the organization is looking at other options down the road in attempts to keep bringing in funds.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.