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Helping Hand - if we hold it, they will come

By Vicki L. George Special to the Courier

Paraphrasing a line from "A Field of Dreams," administrators, staff and volunteers of Bandera's Helping Hand Crisis Center stated: "If we hold it, they will come" - to a golf tournament, that is. A golf tournament that will benefit the local agency that, for three decades, has unfailingly provided a safety net for local families and individuals in need.
On Friday, April 1, Helping Hand, in conjunction with the Flying L Guest Ranch, will sponsor the first annual Bandera County Helping Hand Golf Tournament.
Registration will begin at 10:30 am the day of the tourney, with a Shotgun Start set for noon. The Florida Scramble Format will be used.
A tax-deductible entry fee of $75 per golfer includes green fee, cart rental, gift bag and a barbecue dinner at the Flying L Ghost Town. The event will also include door prizes, as well as awards for Long Drive and Closest to the Pin.
Players can enter as teams or as individuals by signing up at the Flying L Golf Course, 566 Flying L Drive, telephone 830-796-8466; or by contacting Helping Hand Director Jesse Parks at 830-796-8300.
In addition, Helping Hand is also seeking sponsors for all 18 holes, ranging in price from $100 to $5,000. With all levels of sponsorship, the names of businesses will be prominently displayed and will be mentioned in the tournament report. At higher levels, businesses' logos will also be displayed and one to 16 players - depending on the level of sponsorship - will play free. There will be additional perks for high-level sponsors.
For more sponsorship information, contact Parks at 830-796-8300 or email hhand@indian-creek.net.
Thirty years ago, ministers of Bandera County churches founded Helping Hand after identifying a need to provide a central and unified safety net for county families in crisis.
Through Parks and Assistant Director Laura White, Helping Hand provides food, clothing and household goods. The organization also pays for eye exams and glasses for children in need. Each year, Helping Hand donates school supplies to families unable to buy the required items. Other Helping Hand programs provide utility assistance to clients in cut-off situations, emergency prescriptions and medical equipment for clients who cannot afford them.
Arthur Nagel turned to Helping Hand when the Lord led him to donate his savings to start a medical clinic in the county; Helping Hand used the donation as seed money for the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. The clinic provides basic health care to uninsured or underinsured adults with low family income.
Although some of the funds supporting Bandera County Helping Hand come from grants, most of the income is derived from donations and from revenue generated by the popular Helping Hand Thrift Store.
Since the failure of the economy two years ago, the needs of local residents in crisis have greatly increased. While community donations have been generous, Helping Hand explored another way to raise much-needed funds - and have some fun in the process.
Thus was born the first annual Bandera County Helping Hand Golf Tournament with assistance from the Flying L Guest Ranch and Jim Keller, a long-time tournament coordinator.
Avid duffers are asked to mark Friday, April 1, on their calendars - and that's no joke!
Those interesting in sponsoring the Helping Hand Golf Tournament are urged to contact Parks as soon as possible and make their tax-deductible checks payable to "Bandera County Helping Hand." Parks can be reached at 830-796-8300 or at hhand@indian-creek.net

All proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit the programs of the Helping Hand Crisis Center, located at 1116 12th Street.

Pictured: Courtesy Photo
Treasurer Richard Howells, Tournament Coordinator Jim Keller and Executive Director Jesse Parks make initial plans for the first annual Bandera County Helping Hand Golf Tournament, slated for Friday, April 1, at the Flying L Guest Ranch.