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Local golf tournament raises funds for arthritis

September 26, 2005|by MARIE GILBERT /Staff Writer

Kathy Deveney's favorite workout is playing baseball in the park with her 8-year-old grandson.

Several years ago, stiffness and pain in her joints prevented her from enjoying such activities.

"I was a fairly young woman, but I felt old," she recalled.

After being diagnosed with arthritis, Deveney, 62, began working with her doctor, who got her started on an exercise program, discussed proper nutrition and prescribed medication.

Thursday afternoon, Deveney tagged along with her son, who was planning on spending the day participating in a golf tournament at Beaver Creek Country Club in Hagerstown.

"I don't play the game," said Deveney, of Frederick, Md., "or I would be out there swinging the clubs. But this isn't just any tournament, so I wanted to show my support."

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The tournament, the 9th Annual Linda Keller Delauter Memorial Golf Classic, benefits the Maryland Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation.

The event attracted about 140 area golfers, who hoped to raise $14,000 this year in the fight against arthritis.

The money raised during the tournament will stay in this region and will help fund a variety of programs, said Robin Galicic, executive director of the Arthritis Foundation chapter.

"Throughout the area, our chapter supports 13 facilities where those with arthritis can participate in aquatic and land exercise classes taught by Arthritis Foundation-trained and certified instructors," Galicic said. "The money will also be used for public education and medical research."

Serving as chairman for the tournament was Charles Delauter of Wolfsville, Md. Delauter has served as chairman for the nine-year history of the event, which honors his late wife, Linda Keller Delauter.

"This is a very special day," Delauter said. "It makes me happy that we set aside a day to remember Linda, but we also raise a lot of money for the Arthritis Foundation, and that's good."

Delauter said his wife, who did not have arthritis, would nonetheless be very proud and honored to have her name associated with the benefit tournament.

"She was a very loving and caring person," he noted. "This would mean a lot to her."

Jack Derr of Frederick was among the golfers who participated in the fundraising event.

"I wouldn't miss this for the world," Derr said. "I knew Linda well. She was a great person, a tremendously kind person. So being part of this means a lot to me."

Derr said he also understands the importance of raising funds to fight arthritis.

"My mother suffered from arthritis for years," he said. "I know a little something about this disease."

"This is an up and down day," said Shirley Keller of Frederick, Linda's mother. "It's sad remembering what we have lost; but today is also about a good cause."

"We've had tremendous support from the public," said Galicic. "We have never had a problem finding golfers to play in this tournament. In fact, this year we had to turn people away. That's a pretty nice problem to have."

"I think Linda is watching down on us," said Delauter. "We've had sunshine every year we've held this tournament. I think we have to give her credit for that."

According to Galicic, the Arthritis Foundation is the world's single largest nonprofit contributor to arthritis research. The Maryland Chapter funds more research than any other Arthritis Foundation chapter. In 2005, the Maryland Chapter will contribute nearly $1 million to advance research.

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