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Golfers collect toys for Toys for Tots

The Suffolk Golf Course hosted its annual Toys for Tots Golf Tournament to help for Christmas during this challenging year.

On Dec. 12, golfers came out not only to enjoy abnormally warm weather and a game of golf but also to collect toys for children in Suffolk.

The tournament had a shotgun start that kept the 84 players properly distanced in teams throughout the 18-hole course. The original date was Dec. 5, but it was postponed due to inclement weather. The golfers were fortunate enough to experience a beautiful sunny day in the high 60s and plenty of dry grass on the new date.

“We are very lucky this year to still be able to host this,” said Eddie Luke, who owns the golf course. “It’s nice to be able to give back and help kids with everything that’s going on.”

The Suffolk Golf Course hosted the event, and for the past 13 years, the course has held numerous golf tournaments for different charities. This tournament was the ninth year for Toys for Tots, collecting an estimated total of more than 400 toys for local kids.

“Last year, we collected 430 toys,” said Luke. “With four boxes in there, we should be over 400 again this year.”

Participants could get $10 off their entry fee by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy. These toys will stay in Suffolk and were donated to the Salvation Army for its toy distribution.

“I’m extremely happy with the amount of folks who came out,” said Robert Hedrick, pro-golfer and organizer of the event. “We had people come by who weren’t playing but still dropped off toys. I’m extremely pleased. It’s cool we can do that too.”

With the pandemic shutting down businesses and canceling events, people are in need of help. Luckily, golf is a low-contact sport in the open air that many can come enjoy.

“It’s been a good year, and it’s good to give back, because there’s a lot who can’t,” said Luke.