Hurricane threatens to knock hospital's golf event off course; Tournament, banquet are major fund-raiser


With Hurricane Floyd headed toward Maryland, organizers of the Carroll County Golf Classic -- the major fund-raiser for Carroll County General Hospital -- are watching the skies in hopes of keeping a noon shotgun start tomorrow at the Wakefield Valley Golf and Conference Center in Westminster.

While the golf tournament could be postponed to its Sept. 24 rain date, organizers said they might not be able to reschedule tomorrow night's banquet for 165 people to honor the winners and sponsors.

"We are busy trying to cope -- constantly checking the weather predictions," Ruth P. Dennison-Tedesco, vice president of development for the hospital, said yesterday as she checked the latest Floyd report. "Now it's supposed to go through real fast and clear by Friday."

"This is our major special event," she said. "We couldn't cancel something like a golf tournament on Thursday night -- but the weather is so unpredictable, you could have great weather on Friday."

"If it rains, if it drizzles, we could still golf. But no lightning, no torrential downpours."

Hank Majewski, owner of the Wakefield Valley club, said the hospital's tournament over the years "has become one of the biggest social events in the county."

"I'm looking outside, sure I am," he said yesterday. "I hope we can get it in, but I don't know. I heard it's coming a lot faster than they thought."

A wet course shouldn't be a problem, he said.

Now in its ninth year, the Carroll County Golf Classic began as a fund-raiser "so the community could support the hospital and its purpose: to provide health care for Carroll Countians right here," said Susan Ryder, donor-relations coordinator for Carroll County General.

The proceeds have increased each year. The event has raised more than $500,000 since it began, and last year netted more than $80,000 after expenses, Ryder said.

"So it's our major fund-raiser," she said.

Since 1997, she said, proceeds have benefited The Women's Place at the hospital, which provides information, health screening and rehabilitation.

If the tournament is played, foursomes of teams of two will begin on different holes at noon.

Prizes include the Wampler Cup for the overall low scorer, named for the late Atlee Wampler Jr., a founder and chairman of the board of the hospital that opened in 1961; a $10,000 prize for a 40-foot putt, which has yet to be won, and two cars for holes-in-one.

These and other trophies and cash prizes are due to be presented at 8: 30 p.m. tomorrow after dinner and cocktails.

The golf tournament was rained out once in its early years, Dennison-Tedesco said, but the banquet was held -- and the tournament was played a week later.

"I'll watch the skies and hope that we can get it in," said Majew-ski. "This is a big event -- a big social and charity event in this county. It always has been.

"I hope it doesn't rain. I hope the sun comes out. I hope it spares us like it spared Florida."

Pub Date: 9/16/99

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