It’s not uncommon to see Winter Park locals running through the streets early on weekends to help raise money for a cause or a nonprofit.
On Valentine’s Day, though, you may spot something different — a number of women golfing to fight breast cancer.
The Winter Park Women’s Golf Association is hosting its “Playing for a Purpose” tournament fundraiser to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Rally for the Cure initiative Feb. 14.
“We’re a women’s organization; several of our members have been breast-cancer survivors,” said women’s golf league member and fundraiser volunteer Mary Ann Garner. “All of us know someone, family or friend, who has been touched by the disease. We figured it would be a good cause for us to support and we love playing golf.”
Feb. 14 will mark almost 19 years since league member Lee Ann Johnson received her first mammogram and was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She considers it an anniversary of sorts — one she wants to celebrate with nine holes of golf to help others.
“I had a mastectomy, reconstruction and four treatments of chemotherapy,” Johnson said. “I’m alive and kicking and playing golf.”
The tourney starts at 8:30 a.m. and has a shotgun start where groups of players — 36 in total — will start off at different holes throughout the course. The $12 entry fee covers the Panera Bread lunch and places players in a raffle to win gift cards and other prizes.
“Playing for a Purpose” had a quick turnaround — the group agreed to put on the fundraiser and began planning the game in December. It’s been a few years since the last golf fundraiser — which raised about $700 — and the new goal is to raise even more, according to Johnson.
The Winter Park golf group has an eclectic mix of 30-plus members from Winter Park, Casselberry, Orlando and everywhere in-between, Garner said. They range in age and come from all sorts of socioeconomic backgrounds. Garner said she actually plays with one of her junior high school teachers.
The association often is accompanied by snowbirds and others who can’t be part of the group full time but still wish to play. The group welcomes women to join whenever they wish.
“Even though we’re gals that competitively play golf with one another, it’s not just about ourselves,” Johnson said. “We’re interested in helping other women. … I just couldn’t be more proud to be part of this group and this event.”
IF YOU GO
Winter Park Women’s Golf Association’s “Playing for a Purpose” Golf tournament
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14
WHERE: Winter Park Golf Course, 561 W. Webster Ave., Winter Park
COST: $12 entry fee
REGISTRATION: Audrey Karwandy at (407) 364-5745 or Barbara Breen at (407) 647-9230