Local organizations receive donations from Merchants Bank Charity Classic golf tournament

CCFK Assistant Director Nancy Bryant, CCFK Executive Director Javon Daniel, CRHCH Director Tonya Foster, GSHC Executive Director Jolanda Hutson, GSHC Administrator Cindy Barnett. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Merchants Bank held its 26th annual Charity Classic golf tournament in September and on Wednesday, several local organizations were at Merchants Bank to receive the proceeds from this year’s event. Cullman Caring for Kids, Good Samaritan Health Clinic and Cullman Regional Home Health and Hospice each received a $7,000 check from this year’s tournament and Merchants Bank’s Ross West was happy to see those organizations benefit from this event again.

“This is our 26th annual tournament so we’ve been supporting this for a long time and we look forward to it every year. I think all the players look forward to it every year and we couldn’t do it without the sponsors, people playing in the tournament, Terri Pines hosting it and just all the community support we get,” West said. “We’re looking forward to year 27 coming up. I think this is one of the best tournaments we have in Cullman. We’re usually always full with 36 teams and we have people waiting that want to play so I think that’s a good testament to the tournament and the support we get from the community.”

Merchants Bank also makes a separate donation to the Boys and Girls Ranches of Alabama after the golf tournament every year.

Good Samaritan Health Clinic Executive Director Jolanda Hutson was there to receive the donation and is grateful that GSHC is involved in this event each year, especially because it helps with a major need in the area.

“We’re very grateful to be the recipient of the proceeds once again this year and it’s really an honor because we know how much work goes into an event like this. If you’ve ever had to put one together, you can really appreciate all of the hours that go into it so we’re very grateful for that. At Good Samaritan Clinic we really are an agency that meets the needs of all of Cullman County’s uninsured, so it really is a community giving back and I think that’s one thing that makes it so special,” Hutson said. “All of the proceeds will go towards meeting the health care needs of Cullman County’s uninsured and there are a lot of them. Cullman County has one of the highest uninsured rates of anyone in the state so there is a great need here and we’re very grateful to have partners like Merchants Bank.”

Cullman Caring for Kids Executive Director Javon Daniel was also at Merchants Bank Wednesday and says this annual donation comes at a great time for them each year.

“Merchants Bank started including several years ago. We love it, it is one of the biggest donations we get each year and it always comes at a good time. This is the end of the slow time and the beginning of the busy time and it always hits us just right,” Daniel said. “The staff here, the people that work the tournament and the people that participate make it an incredible event for Cullman County and Cullman Caring for Kids loves it.”

Daniel is thankful that Merchants Bank works to help them with this event every year and he is even more thankful for the community going out of its way to contribute to a worthy cause.

“It really is wonderful to know that this community sees there is a need and is willing to do something to help fulfill that need,” Daniel said. “We can’t thank the folks who came out and participated enough because they’re why we’re here. Just knowing that people are willing to come out and help makes all the difference and that’s why Cullman is such a special, special place.”

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