MILLEDGEVILLE — Celebrating its 10th straight year, the Milledgeville Country Club will play host to the Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament this weekend beginning Friday with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. for the four-person scramble.
In memory of former director, Ray Rice Sr., the tournament serves as inspiration to current amputees both locally and internationally.
“When we put the tournament on, this tournament is not a fundraiser for amputees for any stretch of imagination. This tournament is to make people aware,” Bill Eason, tournament coordinator, said. “When you lose a limb, life is not over. You can still do things you used to do.”
Held the same time each year, the golf tournament not only inspires amputees, but keeps them active as well.
“We’ve held it pretty much during the second week in July for at least, I know the past 15 years,” Eason said. “It keeps them active, and it helps with their health. Anyone can lose a limb through an accident, or war — it can happen to anyone.”
Eason says the tournament has evolved through the years, with event publications now going worldwide.
“It’s grown over the past 20 years,” he said. “The publication of the tournament goes all over the world through the World Amputee Golf Association.”
According to Eason, the credit for the event’s success is given to the businesses that have continued to support the tournament since Milledgeville became the home site 20 years ago.
“A lot of it has to do with the merchants that support the Georgia Amputee Golf Tournament,” he said.
In an effort to help celebrate the occasion, golfers will be eligible for special prizes over the course of the weekend and will receive a decorative golf towel, as well as a commemorative poker chip.
“We’ve got some different types of prizes that we’ll give away and some different tokens that we’ll put in the goody bags,” Eason said.
The tournament staff expects a similar crowd to previous years, with the addition of some new participants in this year’s tournament.
“We’ve got some new amputees coming in to play,” Eason said. “There are some people who couldn’t play this year, but we’re going to have some new golfers as well.”
For more information regarding this year’s Georgia State Amputee Golf Tournament or the Ray Rice Sr. Memorial Scholarship visit www.rayricememorial.com.