Most golf fans hear about larger endowments such as PGA Tour Charities and First Tee programs but there are also smaller philanthropic concerns which may never get the same scope of visibility - in this case a local Myrtle Beach foundation called the Pardue Children in Need Fund.
During the week in which I played in the Mystical Golf Tournament in Myrtle Beach, I had the opportunity to speak on several occasions with Claude Pardue, CEO of DG Golf Management and very passionate spokesperson for a charity which "Provides Joy to Children with No Joy in Their Lives."
The game of golf gives back in many ways through charities; in the case of the Pardue Fund, Claude (in association with The Waccamaw Community Foundation) raises money through his pro-shops and has a golf tournament the Saturday before Christmas - this year on December 21 (chances are that the weather in Myrtle Beach will be great). Man O War and the Wizard golf courses close for the event and every dime that is taken in goes directly to the kids.
Which kids are going to be helped?
Children that suffer from emotional and behavioral issues such as depression, anger issues, suicidal tendencies and manic issues among others, mostly caused by abuse and neglect. "The state provides for the vast majority of their care such as housing, food, school, treatment, meds but nothing else," says Pardue.
These kids for the most part are assigned by the court system to homes such as the Lighthouse care facilities and the Seacoast Academies. "Problem is," Claude continued, "that with what they have been through, they feel as though they were placed in prison."
Every year, the Foundation has a Christmas party with tennis shoes and clothes given as gifts to the kids. Pardue's team has also started athletic teams at the Macon and Augusta, Georgia facilities and his staff gives golf lessons once a week to boys and girls in SC during the summer. Claude says there are eleven total facilities in South Carolina and Georgia. "Every year, I am very sad that we are only providing for four of them."
One of the most fun things on the agenda is the annual show at the Alabama Theater. This year, superstar Grammy-award-winning country music group Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers have agreed to perform - Monday night January 27, 2014.
How can you help these kids in need? You can buy tickets to the Gatlin show, contact MysticalGolf.com directly or you can email me and I will be happy to forward your notes directly to Claude Pardue.
"By law and because it is right," Pardue said, "we cannot publicize anything that goes on in these facilities. This is to protect the kids because of the sensitive nature of what they are going through. Because of this, we do not have a brochure of any kind. We rely on word of mouth and really good people that have gotten involved with us in our cause."
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