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On September 25, the Rome Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth (RFCCCY) will host its 26th annual Swing FORE Kids golf tournament at Stonebridge Golf Club. With several additions to the event since last year, the commission hopes to involve more community members in this fundraising opportunity for their programs that benefit youth in Rome and Floyd County.

The RFCCCY has operated since 1989, working with the community to empower children and youth in Rome and Floyd County.

“Our vision is to partner with different community agencies to make sure that our children grow up to be productive citizens in our community,” Executive Director LaDonna Collins said. “Our two strategies that we focus on are decreasing child abuse and neglect with an emphasis on strengthening the family bond and… improved school success, with a focus on childhood literacy.”

Ladonna Collins

The annual Swing FORE Kids tournament is one of RFCCCY’s largest fundraisers, featuring locally sponsored teams, a raffle and a chance for the community to gather in support of the community’s youth. 

“[This event] brings so many different community partners and agencies to the table, and a lot of times they haven’t seen each other since the year before,” Collins said. “We like to have a community family reunion.”

This year, commission members worked to find new ways to engage the community in this event. RFCCCY board member Heath Hooper, dean of the college of business at Shorter University, created an opportunity for the university’s sports management students to assist with preparation for and execution of the golf tournament. Students from Shorter’s sports management student organization will help set up for the event, work the registration and the raffle and assist with whatever is needed on the day of the tournament.

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“We want to involve our students and our faculty in the community any way that we can,” Hooper said. 

Also new this year is the FORE the Ladies golf clinic. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on tournament day, six women will have the chance to take golf lessons from a professional at Stonebridge.
In addition to a partnership with Shorter and the new clinic, RFCCCY has also introduced new fundraising opportunities within the tournament. According to Collins, they are offering team sponsorships, executive hole sponsorships and the raffle, as well as selling mulligans. Anyone who is interested in becoming a sponsor or participating in the event can find more information at swingforekids.eventbrite.com. 

Funds raised from the tournament will help the commission provide programs for children and their families. Some of their regular programs include an annual Teen Maze for high school freshmen and a Kids Night Out partnership with Rome Little Theatre, which promotes literacy by allowing youth and their families to enjoy an evening at the theatre. They have also made an effort to provide virtual activities for families during the COVID-19 pandemic. They organized virtual family nights and presented a storytelling video from Terrell Shaw of the Big Fibbers Storytelling Festival.

“Families were already on the internet, but we wanted to give families something fun to do outside of homework,” Collins said.

Collins and Hooper are both looking forward to the golf tournament as a chance for the Rome/Floyd community to come together and support the efforts of the Commission on Children and Youth.

“It has to be a team effort, and I think that our board has pulled together so well,” Collins said. “Everybody that’s on the board has a passion for children, youth and families, and we work so well together. Our most important thing is giving back to our community.”

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