Mulligans Fore Kids stays on course

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What began as a superball golf tournament to benefit special needs children 14 years ago has become a community institution that has impacted many lives.

Mulligans Fore Kids held its 15th annual charity benefit on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Wilson County Shrine Club followed by the superball golf tournament on Friday at Wedgewood Public Golf Course. Around 175 attended the benefit dinner, which included live and silent auctions that netted one of the event’s largest financial responses.

The superball tourney attracted 29 foursomes with the quartet of Charles Stuckey, Mark Dowd, Rudy Stalls and Russell Capps claiming First Flight honors with a round of 18-under 54. Victorious in the Second Flight was the tandem of Jerry Dellinger, Jerry Wilder, Jim Grady and Graham Campbell with a 12-under round of 60. The Third Flight was winner was The Wilson Times team of Keven Zepezauer, Gordon Perkins, Tracy McLamb and Dexter Webb with a scorecard of 9-under par 63.

Mulligans Fore Kids co-founders Lynn Webb and Mickey Grizzard expressed deep gratitude that not only has their brainchild lasted so long, but it continues to grow and change lives.

“Our vision transformed to a reality,” said Grizzard.  “My mother told me when I was young and reminded me all of the time and I truly believe it. When we realize there are special needs children that we may want to teach them all about life, those children actually teach us what life is all about. Mulligans Fore Kids has actually done that for me. I am completely inspired by all the families I have met, following their challenges the last 15 years.”

Thirteen families spoke at the banquet about their situations and the daily challenges they face with special needs children. The most heartfelt moment came when Kim and Greg Barnes spoke about their son Colton, who passed away this past June. The Barnes family shared that Colton was a happy young who loved life and everyone he met.

Six other lives were memorialized at the banquet, including Kathy Bullin, the life of the late Grover Bullin, the longtime golf professional at Wilson Country Club. Grover Bullin, who died in 2015, was instrumental in the establishment of Mulligans Fore Kids and Kathy Bullin gave of her time to the event as well.

Also remembered were Dr. Joseph D. Russell, JoAnn McKeel, Pat Fagala and Buren Williford.

Lynn Webb noted that Mulligans Fore Kids encountered several changes in 2018, including a shift from Happy Valley Country Club to Wedgewood and a date change due to Hurricane Florence, but the mission remains the same.

“All in all, we had a successful event and we will be able to continue assisting special needs kids in the Wilson area,” he said.