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Charity golf tournament honors Arundel man

When Jason Meadows remembers his elder brother, Don, he can still picture him swinging a golf club during a memorable round last year in Havre de Grace.

It was the last time he saw him. Hours later, Don Meadows' Ford Taurus was struck by a drunken driver, causing injuries that would take his life days later.

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On Monday, friends and family will remember him at the second Don Meadows Foundation Inc. Golf Tournament at Crofton Country Club.

Part of the proceeds will go to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Brain Injury Research Center, which treated Meadows.

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Of $25,000 raised last year by the tournament, the foundation donated $11,000 to the medical center to research new ways to treat severe head injuries. The rest went to local charities and a shelter.

"The nurses and the doctors at University of Maryland were so tremendous in caring for Donny and for us - it was remarkable that they could care so much," said Ann Meadows Leyendecker as she tearfully remembered her son.

Last days

Don Meadows, a 30-year-old sales representative from Crofton, was days from getting married when the accident occurred March 31 last year.

That day he had gone golfing with his brother, Jason, and his stepfather, Terry Cummings, in Havre de Grace.

While discussing a close friend who was dying, the two brothers made a pact: They never wanted to be kept alive through life support.

"We both walked away saying, 'That was one of the best days of my life,'" Jason Meadows recalled. It would be the last time Jason would say "I love you" to his brother.

Afterward, Don Meadows went to dinner with his stepfather at Morton's restaurant in Baltimore.

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After dropping off Cummings at his house, Meadows headed home and was struck broadside at a Gambrills Road intersection by a Honda Civic driven by Kimberly Ann Honaker, 30, of Glen Burnie.

The mother of two had a blood-alcohol level of 0.20 percent, more than twice the legal limit, and she pleaded guilty in February to automobile manslaughter.

A judge sentenced her to 18 months in jail and five years' probation that includes speaking about the fatal crash to area groups.

Family members were told that Meadows would never be able to live without the help of machines, and days later, he was removed from life support.

After his death, relatives and friends began to meet every Wednesday at Rafters, a Crofton bar and grill that was one of Meadows' favorite spots. They decided to form a foundation to honor Meadows and to hold the golf tournament. "We knew we had to do something," Jason Meadows said. "Although we were in so much pain, we had to lean on each other."

Jason Meadows said the response was "phenomenal."

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His mother agreed.

A way to heal

"It really gave us something to work toward, and helped us to deal with this tragedy, while giving back to the community," Leyendecker said. "It helped us more than we could help anyone else."

The first golf tournament was held last summer. The tournament now has more than 30 sponsors, including Leonard Paper Co., the Baltimore supplier where Don Meadows worked.

Last year's tournament drew more than 250 participants and spectators.

"You do good, you get good, even in a horrible situation," Leyendecker said.

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The Don Meadows Second Annual Golf Tournament will start at 1 p.m. Monday at Crofton Country Club. Registration is $125 or $500 for a foursome. Information: 410-721- 2770.


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