Our friends at Coral Hospitality, the management company for Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa, invited me to participate in the Christ’s Starfish Foundation’s SWING FOR THE KIDS golf tournament August 2-3 at their beautiful north Georgia resort in Young Harris, Georgia.

Christ’s Starfish Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is devoted to serving the Lord by providing two services to hurting children and their families, incorporated in 2007 and headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida:

  1. Support the child life specialists at local children’s hospitals for all the children in the hospital.
  2. Support to the families of children with non-cancer illnesses. The hospitalization of a child requires that at least one parent stay with them, often resulting in missed work and pay. The Foundation may help with rent or mortgage payments, electric and phone bills, gas expenses and food.

The two day affair began on Friday with a silent auction on restaurants, a fishing trip to Ocracoke, North Carolina, Sports Memorabilia provided by the many Celebrity guests and other fun and sundry items.  After a delicious dinner served by the culinary staff at Brasstown Valley, the Foundation showed a heart-warming video on the Wyatt family that had lost their first child at birth and were told their second pregnancy would end in a similar fashion. They chose to seek another opinion, and although there were complications, we witnessed a healthy little boy scampering around playing with his parents. Because of his special needs they had to leave their home and go to where he could be treated properly. This put a tremendous burden on their finances, and Christ’s Starfish gave them the assistance necessary so they would not lose their home during his treatments. God works in special ways, and for this family, hope and a healthy child was the result of the Foundation’s work.

The evening’s entertainment began with a short video of a fishing trip by Christ’s Starfish President Carldon Lahey and one of the celebrities in the Outer Banks, which prompted a bunch of bids on the fishing trip. The band Banks & Shane provided the entertainment for the evening.

TyRone Brown Enters Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

During the evening’s festivities retired Harlem Globetrotter, TyRone “Hollywood” Brown, marveled the crowd with his ball handing and spinning ability. This is his third year to participate in the charity event, and sincerely proud to be here and giving back. I had a chance to speak with TyRone and found out his heart is in a special place. Born in and raised in Savannah, his stirring ability to turn life lessons into life’s blessings has given him a unique perspective, heartfelt concerns and countless opportunities to help others. TyRone is recognized as one of the “Greats” in the history of the Globetrotters, and yet, his social impact far exceeds his accomplishments on the court.

Brown is currently a literacy and character educational speaker who has reached over 5 million children at school districts and nonprofits across the USA and Canada. In his 23 years of service he has traveled over 4 million miles, visited 2,400 elementary, middle and high school schools touching 1,9 million children in all 50 states. He has authored the children’s book “A Piece of Paper,” and credits his success to perseverance, hard work and a willingness to pay it forward, reach back and reach out to help children develop a thirst for reading. For three consecutive years, Brown served as a spokesman for the National Education Association(NEA), promoting the Green Eggs to Hamlet program, the precursor to Read Across America.

On September 5 at the Hall of Fame Reunion Dinner TyRone will receive the 2019 Mannie Jackson-Basketball’s Human Spirit Award, a prestigious honor bestowed upon only 35 people in the 50 year history of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Past winners include Dwayne Wade, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Grant Hill, David Robinson and Dikembe Mutombo. The Mannie Jackson Award is an esteemed honor to those with the highest level of dedication to using their platform and resources to make an impact in the lives of others. Congratulations TyRone!

The next day we hit the links with sport celebrities playing on each team. Our partner was Charlie Criss, former Atlanta Hawks guard and one heck of a golfer. After a lovely continental breakfast served outside the Brasstown Valley golf shop overlooking the practice green, we all had a fabulous time playing the extraordinary Brasstown Valley Golf Course with the beautiful Georgia Mountains as a backdrop. My wife Carol won the longest drive for the ladies, using her Vertical Groove Driver to hammer her drive past us. I didn’t win anything. After golf we enjoyed the award presentations along with a hearty lunch in the outdoor Sunset Pavillion with Master of Ceremonies, Bill Donahue, Executive Director of Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority. Championship Sponsors included Jim Walters Management Company, Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa and PSAV. Coral Hospitality was the sole Corporate Sponsor. To learn more or contribute please visit ChristStarfish.org.

Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa

Celebrating 25 years and nestled among the North Georgia Mountains, Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa is an award-winning 500 acre destination that offers a full selection of activities including horseback riding, hiking on 9 miles of trails, fishing, tennis, exclusive off property trips, a luxury spa retreat and unmatched championship golf. Lodging at Brasstown includes 102 well appointed upscale lodge rooms and 32 secluded log cabins. Brasstown Resort has been named in the top 50 Romantic Getaways in the USA and a favorite wedding destination.

Just two hours from Metro Atlanta and Chattanooga,Tennessee, Brasstown Resort combines the beauty and splendor of an idyllic retreat. From the lodge’s grand lobby outfitted with a huge natural stone fireplace and oak vaulted ceilings with panoramic views of the countryside, Brasstown redefines the typical mountain getaway. The large yet cozy Dining Room on the main floor of the Lodge serves breakfast, lunch and delectable dinners. The 19th hole, Brassies Grill, is known for its robust sandwiches and cold libations after a game, ride or hike.

The ‘piece de resistance’ at Brasstown is the Denis Griffiths designed 6957 yard masterpiece that winds through wildlife preserves, ponds and streams framed in by the Blue Ridge Mountains. With 5 sets of tees, golfers will be able to enjoy the links-style layout that is maintained in immaculate condition. Brasstown Resort Golf Club is the perfect place for corporate outings, a couple’s getaway or a buddies’ trip. The Club offers a complete assortment of practice facilities, lessons and clinics and customized tournament management by Director of Golf PGA Professional Steve Phelps and his staff. Complete your Brasstown memory with a purchase from the well stocked pro shop and store. For more information visit BrasstownValley.com.

Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa is one of the many golf destinations on the Georgia Golf Trail(GGT), a selection of great golf courses and outstanding resorts from the mountains to the plains and south to the Atlantic coastline covering the Peach State. Home to the remarkable Bobby Jones, the Masters and the TOUR Championship, the GGT offers the state’s golfers and visiting players the opportunity to play and stay at some of the finest locations in the South. Visit GeorgiaGolfandTravel.com to pick your favorites and learn more.