Putts Fore Paws

Caleb Turrentine / The Herald Emerald Mountain Golf Club general manager Erich Flynn said this year’s tournament saw growth in the number of participants and sponsors.

Golfers from around central Alabama converged on Emerald Mountain Golf Club last week to participate in the second annual Putts Fore Paws event benefitting the Humane Society of Elmore County. Alabama News Network helped put on the tournament for the shelter, grabbing sponsors from around the area to raise money but HSEC director Rea Cord said the support goes beyond a monetary level.

“Every fundraiser is a good fundraiser,” Cord said. “It’s more about even just the money though. It’s about awareness and the moral support to see this many people show up and the sponsors thought we were worthy enough to throw in with. That’s just a huge plus.”

The Humane Society did not have final numbers from the event but Cord said she did see plenty of growth from Year 1 to Year 2. Erich Flynn, general manager at Emerald Mountain, said he loves being a part of the event and the course never thought twice about getting involved with the cause.

“Alabama News Network approached us about a year and a half ago that they would like us to get involved with the Elmore County Humane Society,” Flynn said. “Everybody loves pets so of course when this came out, we said we would love to be able to do it. To be able to host and do it for a worthy cause, that’s why we got involved.”

Flynn said he projected at least one-third more golfers showed up in Year 2 and he expects that number to continue to grow in the future. He said Emerald Mountain still has some room left on the course so he hopes it can continue to provide the venue for the tournament.

Emerald Mountain is no stranger to hosting tournaments but Flynn said this one stands out in his mind. It draw out different crowds for each event and this one hit a little bit closer to home for him and others at the golf club.

“For us, this is a lot different from what you usually host,” Flynn said. “There’s not good, bad or ugly to any of them but this one takes it to the heart. We love to see the dogs out there now find a home and the money is coming in to support the shelter because if they don’t do it, no one will and someone needs to do it.”

All parties involved were very pleased with the turnout and, despite rain being in the forecast, the course stayed dry and the clouds helped mask some of the heat during the morning tournament.

The Humane Society brought some of its adoptable animals to the front of the course to raise the awareness about how many animals are in need every day. Cord said she believes events like the golf tournament can get the shelter out in the open so people will see the animals that need help.

“It’s a great event and it’s growing,” Cord said. “I think it will keep growing every year and that’s awesome. It was a wonderful turnout, the course is full and there are a lot of sponsors. We’re thrilled with it.”

While there is no official date for the third annual event yet, Cord said she wants to keep it in August so it becomes a staple to the community. And if everyone wants to keep things close to home, Emerald Mountain is more than happy to oblige.

“I’d like to think we’re going to be here forever and we want to support Wetumpka,” Flynn said. “There’s always a need for the Humane Society so there should be no end in sight. I hope it will benefit all of us going forward.”

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.