Albany golf tournament collects 180 Toys and $7000 for Toys for Tots

Albany golf tournament collects 180 Toys and $7000 for Toys for Tots
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 6:50 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2022 at 7:05 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Every year the Marine Corps, River Pointe Golf Club and local sponsors come together to host a golf tournament for Toys for Tots.

“Someone has to step in. There are hundreds of children that fall through the cracks. That’s why we are here,” Charles Goodroe, founder of the gold tournament, said.

Goodroe started the tournament in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina. Sunday’s event was one of their biggest yet. It brought 27 teams of four golfers. Each team played all 18 holes.

“This tournament and this format, it’s one of the most successful in Albany,” he said.

Staff Sergeant Reginald Hammons, a regional director for Toys for Tots, is also a Marine. Hammons started off the day only about a quarter to his goal for toys with time running out. He said they definitely have a lot more kids to support so they are going to need about 10,000 toys in total.

Sunday, more than 100 golfers and multiple local sponsors put a big dent into a growing need.

A team of golfers looks to finish their round strong on hole 18.
A team of golfers looks to finish their round strong on hole 18.(WALB)

“River Pointe Golf Club usually gives us the most money and most toys,” Hammons said.

With total money and toys donated at the Tournament, Hammons estimates 800 more kids will get toys this Christmas because of the event. A total of $7,000 will go directly to toys (at about $15 per toy that is 600-650 toys). A total of 180 toys were donated directly as the “cost for entry” to the tournament.

This is Hammons’s 3rd time at the event that has been going on for nearly 2 decades.

“It’s important for the Marines to be here to have that push to show the importance of what we do. A lot of people see Marines and I think of the physical, the first to say, the jarheads. Some people think that all we care about is war. We also have that caring side,” Hammons said.

Staff Sergeant Reginald Hammons is the regional director for Toys For Tots in Albany and...
Staff Sergeant Reginald Hammons is the regional director for Toys For Tots in Albany and surrounding counties(WALB)

Goodroe said its a perfect match for golfers to be a part of this big fundraiser.

“Golfers are charity supporters. They are not stopping here at the local level. We are proud to do this. We are family here at River Pointe,” Goodroe said.

Jeff Van Laan, one of the charity golfers, said it was a perfect day to give back.

“I love being here for the kids obviously. That’s the most important thing. Great day. Great weather,” he said.

This year, Goodroe said it means more to him than a normal year. He couldn’t attend the last few years for medical reasons.

“I can’t describe the feeling, without getting too personal,” Goodroe said.

Toys for Tots is now closer to its goal in the Albany area, but they still have a lot more toys to collect to get to its goal.

The deadline to give Toys this holiday season is Dec. 12. Anyone interested in hosting a drive or donating toys can find more information here.