And Then It Rained Golf Balls ….

28 September 2014


By Joanna Dunn Samson, FOTAS Director

It really did. Last Monday afternoon, a helicopter dropped 1000 golf balls on to the driving range at Houndslake Country Club for the FOTAS Playing Fore the Pets Golf Tournament.  It was quite a spectacle.

But first, some great news: both Andrew and Skittles, the long-term shelter residents I wrote about last Sunday, have been adopted and are now adjusting to their forever homes. We couldn’t be happier or more relieved.

If you are thinking, “Well, shoot! I wanted to adopt Andrew (or Skittles),” do not despair.  There are so many affectionate, sensational dogs like Andrew and Skittles at the shelter right now – dogs that have been loved and socialized and in many cases, trained by our volunteers and will make genuinely devoted pets.

They too need homes before their time runs out. Sadly, the County Shelter is filled way beyond its capacity, because as a public facility, it is not permitted to turn away any owner-surrenders or strays due to lack of space.

Playing for the Pets was a great success thanks to the amazing and feverish efforts of FOTAS volunteers Sandy and Ross Staiger, along with Jim Johnson, Barbara Gunter and an army of dedicated volunteers. We are profoundly grateful to all of them.

Despite a little spotty drizzle (nothing that would keep a real golfer away from the tees), 117 golfers participated in the tournament. The winners were:

  • 1st place — Stephen Welch, Terry Green, David Wolfe, John Perara
  • 2nd place — Charles Mims, Brian Epperly, Charlie Berensden, Steve Kubik
  • 3rd place — Dick Funkhouser, Rick Arkin, Brent Boore, Don Carlberg
  • Putting contest/Men — Art Sotak
  • Putting contest/Women — Peggy Sharp

About the 1000 balls dropped from the helicopter: each ball had a number corresponding with a ticket issued for a $10 donation. When the balls were dropped out of the helicopter, the person whose ball landed closest to the hole won $1000. Ball #628 assigned to Emily Hanna fell closest to the hole (2” to be exact). Congratulations Emily!

FOTAS is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization funded wholly through private donations. Fundraisers like Playing Fore the Pets are critical to its ability to supplement the Aiken County Animal Shelter’s resources to care for its animal residents.

Last year alone, almost 5000 animals passed through the shelter doors. Caring for that many animals is expensive, and FOTAS funds are necessary to bridge the budgetary gap between public funding through tax dollars and actual funding needs.

In addition, FOTAS helps its foster families with expenses, pays costs of transfer to other rescue facilities when necessary, and pays the costs to spay/neuter associated with FOTAS Fix-a-Pet, as well as FOTAS’ Lenny’s Brigade, which traps, neuters and returns feral cats in the County.

So, to all of you who supported and participated in Playing Fore the Pets – thank you.

FOTAS also is deeply grateful for the support of our sponsors: Honda Cars of Aiken, Atlantic Broadband, Carolina Outdoors, Prime Steakhouse, Chesterfield Court, Chesterfield Interiors, Fatz Café, Chick-Fil-A, and the other 60 local Aiken businesses that sponsored golf holes, golfer goody bags, and door prizes.

And of course, many thanks to Houndslake Country Club, and particularly to Rob Lee, the Houndslake Pro, for graciously hosting the golf tournament and organizing the golfers. We hope it will be the first of many.


FOTAS’ Lenny’s Brigade Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) spay/neuter results

January through August 2014 = 115 community cats fixed