The Cherokee County Homeless Veterans Program will be holding a pair of fundraising events at Lake Arrowhead on Oct. 25.

Raising money to help homeless veterans in Cherokee County through various programs and the construction of a shelter for these veterans, the program is holding its fifth annual golf tournament at the golf course at Lake Arrowhead.

According to local veteran Jim Lindenmayer, who is one of the key figures behind the fundraiser, the event has been instrumental in helping the program obtain much of the money needed to run the services helping area veterans in need. Since the golf tournament began, he said it has managed to raise between $75,000 and $100,000.

As it has over the past several years, this year’s golf tournament will be a four-member team scramble format, with registration opening at 7:30 a.m. and a shotgun start at 9 a.m. There will be prizes awarded for the longest drive of the day and for the closest shot to the pin, while lunch will be provided after teams finish their round, gifts will be given to all participants and trophies will be awarded to the winners in each flight of competition (men’s, women’s, mixed and adaptive). Along with the golf tournament, the event will feature a silent auction which will last throughout the tournament.

One new addition to this year’s golf tournament is a putting contest. Between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., anyone interested in participating in the putting contest can sign up to qualify for the final round by sinking a 10-foot putt. Of those who qualify for the final round, the first participant to nail a 50-foot putt wins a prize of $5,000. Lindenmayer explained that this competition would not be limited to those taking part in the main golf tournament, but instead would be open to anyone interested in participating.

In addition to the golf tournament, the organization is teaming up with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum to offer citizens the chance to ride over Lake Arrowhead in a Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter. More commonly referred to as the Huey, the helicopter’s most iconic role was serving as a medical evacuation aircraft, a gunship to attack enemy positions and a method for inserting troops into contested areas during the Vietnam War. Lindenmayer said this was the first year the fundraiser had offered an event like this, although he did say the helicopter conducted a fly-over during last year’s golf tournament. He also added that there would be a limited number of tickets sold for this portion of the fundraiser, and that all participants had to be over the age of 5.

Since the CCHVP started holding this event, Lindenmayer said he and others involved with the fundraiser have heard nothing but good things from participants.

“People do love it,” Lindenmayer said. “It’s a very positive program.”

According to statistics presented to Congress by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Georgia has one of the largest populations of unsheltered homeless veterans in the country, behind only Hawaii and Oregon, while Cherokee County has the second highest number of total homeless people in the state, with Bibb County sitting in the top spot in that category. With these facts in mind, the CCHVP, a non-profit program which is registered through the American Legion post in Canton, has dedicated itself to helping homeless veterans in a variety of ways, including plans to construct a homeless veterans shelter in unincorporated Cherokee County.

For those interested in taking part in the Oct. 25 fundraiser events, the golf tournament is $400 for a team of four, while tickets for a ride on the Huey cost $150. For more information about both events, contact Lindenmayer at 678-983-7590.

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