• 64°

Golf tournament registration under way

Call them weekend warriors or call them duffers.

But, when golfers “Tee It Up Fore Kids,” call them caring.

On Friday, May 15, the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center/Family Resource Center will present the fifth annual “Tee It Up Fore Kids” golf tournament at the Brundidge Country Club.

“This four-man scramble is one of our largest fundraisers,” said Mona Watson, CAC director. “‘Tee It Up Fore Kids’ is a lot of fun and it’s a fundraiser for a really good cause. All proceeds are used to help prevent child abuse and neglect throughout Pike County and the surrounding areas. So we hope that those who enjoy playing golf and have a heart of these children will make plans now to participate.”

The registration fee is $75 per player and includes lunch. Tee time is 1 p.m.

“We also have opportunities for businesses to participate,” Watson said.

“If a business would like to sponsor a hole, the donation is $150. Cart sponsorship is $50 and the business will have its name on a banner on a golf cart. Both of these opportunities are good ways to advertise your business and help prevent child abuse.”

To register for the 2009 “Tee It Up Fore Kids” golf tournament, call 670-0487 or stop by the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center/Family Resource Center at 118 West Orange Street in Troy.

Watson said the proceeds will support the CAC’s prevention programs which include parenting classes.

“These classes are for any parent who is interested in learning better parenting skills,” Watson said.

“In order to prevent further trauma to the family, it’s also for non-offending parents, who have gone through crisis situations.”

The Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center also takes the message of child abuse prevention of the schools in Pike County.

“We go into grades two, five and seven, in all schools in the county –private and public — for the purpose of teaching children body safety skills,” Watson said.

“Through this teaching, they will be able to better protect themselves and know who to call and who to tell. Then , hopefully, bad things will be prevented before they happen.”

Watson said she understands that some parents many not want their children exposed to bad things that can potentially happen.

“However, in the long run, it’s better for children to know what to do if a situation arises where they feel uncomfortable or threatened,” she said.

“Sadly, every day we hear or read about where someone has taken advantage of a child. Recently, it was a Sunday school teacher who is thought to have abused and killed a child.”

Watson said there is no stereotype of an abuser of children.

“Children must be taught that it is not okay for people to hurt them and that they do not have to keep secrets,” she said.

“We want to protect our children and keep them innocent but child abuse is real and it’s a serious problem. It can happen to anybody. Children must know what to do or what not to do. They need to learn those skills before it’s too late.”

The CAC also has programs for at-risk groups in the schools.

“These are designed for students with behavioral problems or those who have been referred as at-risk because of social or emotional problems,” she said.

“When these problems exist, there are usually underlying problems. We try to help these children work through those problems.”

Watson said she wishes that she would never have to do another interview with a four-year-old or any child who had been sexually abused by a trusted member of the family.

“Prevention is the key,” she said. “The ‘Tee It Up Fore Kids’ golf tournament is about raising funds for our programs and raising the community’s awareness about child abuse prevention. We want to get the word out and let people know that the Pike Regional Child Advocacy Center is here for them and here to help.”