Wilcox Fights Hunger & Lupus at Charity Golf Outing
- Published on Thursday, 09 August 2012 09:16
MYRTLE BEACH, SC. August 3, 2012--More than 100 golfers joined Chris Wilcox in his effort to raises as much money as possible for the Lupus Foundation of America during his Fourth Annual Power Forward to Cure Lupus Golf Outing.
For years, Wilcox has come back to his roots in Whiteville, North Carolina, right outside of Myrtle Beach, to rally community support in the fight against lupus. "It was a great turnout," said Wilcox. "Our best ever. The Myrtle Beach community showed us a lot of support."
With the help of dozens of local sponsors, as well as celebrities like World Boxing Heavyweight Champion James "Bonecrusher" Smith, actor Justin Wheelon and former NFL great Donnell Woolford, Wilcox kicked off the 18-hole Celebrity Shotgun Scramble at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 3rd at the Myrtle Beach National Golf Club. After a long day of golfing, food and fun, prizes were awarded to the three lowest team scores, closest to the pin and the longest drive. Maurice Allen snagged the prize for longest drive with his 370-yard hit. He is the Guinness Book of World Records Holder for the longest drive in history.
But for Wilcox, the highlight of the entire day was presenting a check to the Lupus Foundation of America. "This event will support the Lupus Foundation of America's unique research program aimed at finding the causes of cure for lupus," said Tricia Hart, the National Director of Development and Individual Giving for the LFA. "It was a great day in support of an important cause!" The money will go toward the Lupus Foundation's Challenge Match, a fundraising effort in which LFA Directors will match contributions dollar for dollar if $150,000 is raised by August 31st. Wilcox's donation will add 10,000 more toward fighting a disease that has devastated his own family. Wilcox knows first-hand just how damanging the autoimmune disease can be--his sister Tehesia and two cousins currently suffer from lupus and tragically two of his aunts passed away from complications with the disease.
Members of the lupus community were on hand for the day as well. One guest in particular made a significant impact on Wilcox. Barbi Manchester, a 33-year old North Carolina native, was diagnosed with SLE in 2007. "Her lupus is very active," said Wilcox. "But she was smiling all day. She helped out with everything."
"It was amazing, it really was," said Manchester. "And him being as humble as he was and his family being as humble as they are, it was really nice. They took me right in with open arms. Chris went above and beyond using his national NBA star status to bring awareness to this horrible autoimmune disease. For a lupus patient like me, this is like a dream."
While in Myrtle Beach, Wilcox also lent a hand in the fight against hunger. With more than 16% of Horry County residents living below the poverty line, Wilcox understands how fortunate he is and the unique position he is in to help. On Thursday, August 2nd Wilcox made a stop at the Helping Hand of Myrtle Beach; a local crisis-intervention agency that was struggling to keep their shelves filled during the critical summertime months when donations are down and need is always up.
Wilcox and his family unloaded dozens of boxes and bags filled with crucial items like peanut butter, jelly, instant potatoes, grits, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, pork and beans and fruit with the help of Helping Hand volunteers. Wilcox himself stocked the non-perishables on empty shelves.
The pantry assists anywhere from 75 to 200 people a day. Adrian Weatherwax, executive director of the Helping Hand, said that with Wilcox's donation, they'll be able to feed people for up to a week.Additionally, one percent of the food costs purchased by Wilcox from a local Bi-Lo grocery store will be donated back to the pantry.