PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Celebrities help hospice exceed Golf Classic goal

By Anne Mancini

DULUTH — Three prominent Gwinnett County celebrities served in honorary roles to raise funds for Duluth-based Peachtree Christian Hospice at its 13th Annual Golf Classic held on Oct. 22 at St. Ives Country Club.

Cole Hudgens, grandson of the renowned developer and philanthropist, D. Scott Hudgens, Jr., who was also the sole benefactor of Peachtree Christian Hospice, was the honorary team captain. Dewey McClain and Brian Finneran, Atlanta Falcons' alumni, were the honorary co-chairmen of this annual fundraising event.

With 80 golfers in attendance, the welcome ceremonies were dedicated to the anniversary of the hospice's opening on Oct.22, 2000. While bagpiper Danny Ray Cole played "God Bless America", Martha Todd, president and board chairman of Peachtree Christian Hospice, announced the names of golfers who had passed away since the first hospice golf classic in 2001. Mayor Mike Bodker of Johns Creek then presented Todd with an American flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 18th and a certificate of authenticity in honor of her late husband, William N. Todd, Sr., who passed away earlier this year.

As the bagpiper played "Taps," the golfers headed to the links, and the honorary flag was raised up the flag pole, waving proudly over St. Ives during the tournament. Todd later plans to fly the flag over Peachtree Christian Hospice as a tribute to her husband who was the co-founder of Peachtree Christian Hospice and co-chairman of its Bboard of directors.

Hudgens, McClain, and Finneran enthusiastically mingled with the golfers and over 25 volunteers throughout the picture-perfect day and assisted Todd with presenting the awards and prizes at the evening reception. As she and Hudgens presented the 'Top Gun' Award to Michael Hinterschied for raising the most Golf Classic funds, Todd said, "Michael and his beautiful spouse, Alice, have been long-time Ambassadors for Hospice, whose commitment, and that of countless other supporters, has impacted over 8,000 Peachtree Christian Hospice patients to date."

At the end of the event, Todd presented the three honorees with a gift of gratitude for their participation in the record-breaking success of the fundraiser which surpassed last year's and this year's revenue goals. Proceeds from the event will continue to benefit Peachtree Christian Hospice patients affected by life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones in an atmosphere of dignity.

Anne Mancini is vice president of operations for Peachtree Christian Hospice.

People Helping People is a publication of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services. For more information contact Ellen Gerstein - ellen@gwinnettcoalition.org or at 770-995-3339.