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Sertoma holds golf tourney

The Bennett’s Creek chapter of Sertoma held its 31st annual golf tournament, its biggest fundraiser of the year, on Oct. 15, at the Cedar Point Country Club golf course.

This year, the tournament was rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions and pouring rain on their original date in September. Now that Gov. Northam let Hampton Roads go to Phase 3, their new date gave them beautiful weather to enjoy a golf game, company, and support of a good cause.

“Having it earlier in the year and due to the restrictions that were in place at the time, we wouldn’t have experienced the camaraderie that we could today,” said Jonathan Foster, who is on the board of directors for Bennett’s Creek Sertoma. “We are so grateful for Cedar Point hosting us and for the 100 golfers who are supporting us by playing. A lot of the same players come out every year because they believe in our mission.”

The Bennett’s Creek chapter of Sertoma — the unusual name means “service to mankind” — hosts this golf tournament every year to raise funds to give back to the community. Founded in 1990, the Bennett’s Creek chapter strives to follow the Sertoma mission statement, “to improve the quality of life today for those at risk or impacted by hearing loss through education and support.”

“I believe in what we do for the needs of these kids so much,” said Bobby Grandy, one of the founding members of Bennett’s Creek Sertoma. “Just being able to work with kids or the school systems to get hearing aids or equipment they may need. Whoever comes for a need, we try to help. We do a lot for the community.”

This chapter has also been recognized nationally for the fastest-growing Sertoma group in the country.

“Sertoma National asks us how we continue to grow while other chapters are losing membership, but we are just passionate about what we do, and we have a good time while we do it,” said Foster.

Last year, Sertoma donated almost $17,000 to different causes. The golf tournament is the biggest fundraiser for the club. The club also raises money by volunteering at large events hosted by the City of Suffolk. Due to COVID-19 canceling these events, the golf tournament funds are more important than ever this year.

With this money, the club helps give hearing aids to people, mainly children, who cannot afford one, but it would improve their quality of life. They also give to a scholarship at Old Dominion University for a student towards a degree in speech-language pathology and audiology. In April of this year, the club strayed from its primary mission by donating to five local food banks struggling to feed the extra people the pandemic has brought to their doors.

“This year has been the most challenging year for foodbanks due to COVID,” said Foster. “Most food banks were experiencing anywhere between 70% and 125% increase in demand for meals from their local neighborhoods. It was an eye-opener to see the line of families in desperate need and was an easy decision for Bennett’s Creek Sertoma to help our local food banks as much as we could.”

The Bennett’s Creek Sertomas are always looking for people with hearing and speech impairments to help improve their quality of life. Those in need, or even those who want to support the cause, can message the club via its Facebook page.