Golf Tournament Raises $50,000 for UNC Lineberger

A charity golf tournament raised $50,000 to establish a patient assistance fund for patients and families being treated for leukemia and lymphoma at UNC Lineberger. The September 23rd event, held at the North Shore Country Club in Sneads Ferry, was organized in memory of Sean Williams, the son of Colonel Mike and Debbie Williams of Hubert. Sean died from leukemia on February 15, 2007, at the age of 24.

Williamseventcheck.jpgThe event attracted 86 golfers and 19 volunteers. Happy Hour kick-off events were held in Wilmington, Surf City, Sneads Ferry and Swansboro the month before the tournament.

The event ran beautifully, and even a drenching downpour on the final two holes didn’t dampen the spirits of the participants.  One hundred prizes were raffled off, and silent auction items included an Apple Mac Notebook, beach weekends, a signed UNC jersey, and an autographed Phil Mickelson photo.

Sean’s mother, Debbie, credits her friend, LuAnn Dean, president of ProSol and president and founder of PS Charities, for the idea and organization of the event. Dean’s husband, Michael, CEO of ProSol, thanked supporters, golfers and volunteers for their participation.

Sean’s father, Mike, described how much everyone’s support meant to the family and expressed appreciation for the community, the volunteers and friends and families who made the tournament so successful.

Debbie Williams explained, “This event is a great way to honor Sean’s memory.  All the profits of this event, 100 percent, go back to the families who can use the help. I know he would be proud.

“Giving back is something Sean did, even after his diagnosis. From his hospital bed, he organized a bone marrow drive at his university, UNC- Wilmington.  Others have stepped forward to help as well.  Col. Dave Close, head of the School of Infantry, based at Camp Geiger, part of Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, NC, asked the members of every entering class to become bone marrow donors.

“Chapel Hill became our life when Sean was being treated. We’d call Todd in the admission office to say we were coming, and everything was ready when we arrived. Everyone was so helpful. There must be something in the water at UNC. I’m hospital and I know what it takes.  UNC has it.” Debbie Williams works as an ultrasonographer at Camp LeJeune Naval Hospital.

Dr. Peter Voorhees, Sean’s UNC physician, accepted a check from event organizers. He is shown here with (left) Michael Williams, Jr, and (right) Debbie Williams, Michael Williams, Sr, and Brent Williams. Not pictured is Sean's other brother, Brian, a Captain in the Marine Corps currently serving in Afghanistan, who was well represented by his wife, Maegan Williams, who works for PS Charities and was the organizer for this wonderful event.

Loretta Muss, coordinator of the N.C Cancer Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Board, a group on which Debbie Williams served, wrote to her in an email, “You honored Sean in such a beautiful way.  His memory and legacy will live on in the service of patients and their families who are struggling not only with a cancer diagnosis, but how to put food on the table, pay for gas to get to treatments and other bills, and the list goes on. You are my heroes.”

PS Charities, in conjunction with ProSol, hosted this third annual event.

PS Charities’ mission is to provide financial assistance to meet the specific needs of military families and those affected by cancer.  PS Charities raises funds from both individual gifts and corporate sponsorships, and 100 percent of the proceeds raised goes directly to those in need.  Other sponsors included ProSol Associates, Pepper Hamilton LLP, and JSS.