On the first Monday of May, golfers gather for the Harry W. Jernigan Memorial Golf Tournament not only to pay tribute to the legacy of Mr. Jernigan, but to also raise money for the medical advancement causes for which he passionately advocated during his lifetime.
“In the late 1970’s, Mr. Harry W. Jernigan, recognizing that traditional funding could no longer provide Augusta with the latest advances in health care, established the University Health Care Foundation (now Piedmont Augusta Foundation) and served as Foundation President from 1978 until his death in 1984,” shares Laney Mize, Foundation Gift Officer at the Piedmont Augusta Foundation.
“The foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of Piedmont Augusta,” explains Laney. “All the funds that we raise through events and charitable giving stay local here at our hospital. We also support patient and employee assistance, scholarships and continuing education, capital campaigns, and other projects as determined by the priority needs of the hospital.”
This May, the foundation will host the 37th annual Harry W. Jernigan Memorial Golf Tournament, which began in 1986 and raised $8,000 the first year for the then newly named Jernigan Cancer Center. This year’s tournament, the foundation anticipates hosting approximately four hundred people and raising between $200,000-$400,000.
“In years past, proceeds from the golf tournament have been used to renovate rooms in the Jernigan Cancer Center, aid families in financial difficulty due to the cost of cancer treatments and provide educational opportunities for Piedmont Augusta cancer staff,” says Laney. “After strategic planning, we realized that we could also raise money for other areas of the hospital that needed funding as well. So, that's when we started raising support for different departments such as giraffe beds for the NICU and a cardiac catheterization lab for the Heart Institute.”
“Proceeds from this year’s event, of which 100% stay in our community, will be used to support Piedmont Augusta’s efforts in achieving a comprehensive stroke program, which entails accommodating more stroke patients and bringing state of the art stroke care to our community,” adds Laney. “It will include the latest developments in stroke care by multiple medical and surgical specialties.”
“The Tournament is played on the Jack Nicklaus Reserve Course, Reese Jones Wisteria Course and Bob Cupp Course at beautiful Woodside Golf Club in Aiken, South Carolina,” explains Laney. Teams, which are formed through sponsorship packages, will enjoy a day of competitive golf and end the tournament with dinner and awards in the clubhouse. As part of this year’s program, two stroke survivors will share their stories and excitement for the hospital’s commitment to creating the comprehensive stroke program.