It was the third Monday in June, which meant Cindy Walker was at Terri Pines Country Club. This year, not even hip and knee surgery could keep her away.

For 12 years, Walker — whose husband Jim is the minister of music at St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church — has been at Terri Pines to help organize the St. John’s Golf Classic.

And for the 2008 installment of the event, Walker wouldn’t let anything as little as surgery keep her from doing her part.

Seated at a table in the upstairs dining room of the Terri Pines clubhouse, Walker showed few ill effects of avascular necrosis, the disease that’s forcing her to have surgery Wednesday.

But that didn’t mean she felt no pain.

“It’s not easy. I kind of limp wherever I go,” said Walker, who’s suffering from the same ailment that ended the career of Bo Jackson. “But everybody has been nice. They let me sit around and wait on me.”

Avascular necrosis results from a temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to bones, which causes bone tissue to die and bones to collapse. If the disease occurs near a joint, it can cause the collapse of the joint itself.

Sounds brutal, but the music minister’s wife said the help of others made the process manageable.

“I just love this too much for (the pain) to be too much,” said Walker, who also sings in the choir during each of the church’s three Sunday worship services. “But it probably would have if I hadn’t had so much help.”

With the help of others, Walker managed to mail out hundreds of registration cards, record entrants’ information, form a committee for determining door prizes, find sponsors for every hole and sort out the players’ handicaps. Only then did she turn the information over to Danny Woodard, Terri Pines’ golf pro.

“It’s a really big job. It takes about three months,” said Walker.

The job is so big, in fact, that Walker and her fellow organizers always joke that this year will be the final year for the tournament. But with all the money it raises for charity, Walker said they always get drawn back in.

“Every year we say, ‘It’s too much, we’re not going to do it again,’” Walker said. “The spring comes around and we get excited about golf and the whole thing rejuvenates us.”

Thanks to the work of Walker and the other tournament organizers, St. John’s will be able to buy new equipment this year for children’s education. In past years, the tournament has raised money for a new church organ and missions work in Belize.

“This year, I’m especially proud because we’re using it for children’s missions,” said Walker.

Though she’s done her part for 12 years now, Walker said organizing the tournament was a bit disorganized.

“Someone said we needed somebody who knows how to work with computers, so I got drafted in,” said Walker. “But I’m not a computer guru.

“Nobody really knew what we were doing, but every year it’s gotten better.”

As the tournament keeps improving and raising money for charity, Walker said it continues to be a great opportunity for people around the community to get involved in missions — while playing a round of golf at Terri Pines.

“The men really seem to enjoy it,” she said. “A lot of people get a chance to play at Terri Pines when some normally wouldn’t be able to.”

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