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Donations of Golf Equipment Needed For Military Personnel

Last updated on Friday, March 1, 2013

(LINTON) - A former Greene County man will be set up this weekend to accept donations of golf-related equipment to be sent overseas to military personnel.

Sabrina Westfall of the Greene County Daily World reports that Terry Graves, formerly of the Worthington and Bloomfield areas, will have bins set up at Linton's Humphreys Park in the Park Inn Community Room on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

His daughter, Heather Graves, said there will be bins set up to take donations of golf balls, golf clubs or other golf-related accessories.

Donations will be taken to Fort Bragg, N.C., near where Terry Graves lives, and sent to troops overseas.

Heather Graves explained he cleans the golf balls, and then they are taken to Fort Bragg where they are packaged and shipped.

The troops overseas are able to go out to the desert on their down time and hit the golf balls around.

"It's a stress reliever for them," Heather Graves explained.

Donations can range from colored or white golf balls to men's or women's. Golf balls can be new or used. Used items will be cleaned by Graves before taken for donation.
"He will take clubs and he will take golf bags. Something else that he can use is egg cartons because he uses those to dry the balls out. Once they are used he has to discard them," Heather Graves added.

The former Worthington-Jefferson teacher lived in Greene County for about 60 years. When he moved to a small town in North Carolina just a few years ago he picked up golf, which is where he started the golf ball drive.

Heather Graves said it all started after an angry golfer got so mad he tossed his whole bag of golf clubs in the course's pond.

"He noticed something floating in the pond. Someone actually got mad enough that they threw their whole set of clubs in the water. He cleaned them up, but the clubhouse wouldn't take them and he didn't know anyone who needed them. He said that's kind of what started it, is what can I do to let someone reuse them?" Heather Graves explained.
Through research, Graves learned troops can use the golf equipment while they are deployed overseas.

"He was never a golfer until he retired and now he plays everyday. This is his way of doing something fun and it's a charitable way to give back. ... He's got two or three guys that are retired teachers he plays with, they go out two or three hours before they tee off, and search the woods and water (for golf balls)," Heather Graves explained.
To this date, Graves has donated almost 25,000 golf balls by searching the courses he plays and hosting golf ball drives. He has also been able to donate about 25 full sets of golf clubs.

"The shipment he has right now is close to 2,000 and ready to go. He is hoping with this drive here at home, he can make this one of the bigger donations he has done," Heather Graves explained.

When dropping off donations to the bin outside the Park Inn Community Building, Heather Graves said donors are encouraged to put the items in a bag and leave their name and hometown to let the troops know where the items are coming from.

"He is going to include this information in the stuff that is shipped overseas. They can also include a card for the troops or just a thank you," Heather Graves added.

If someone is interested in making a donation, but cannot do so this weekend, they can contact Heather Graves at (812) 384-6563 to arrange a drop-off.

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