By Maya Pottiger
The Fort Smallwood Elementary School community is gearing up for its third annual Swing For Hope golf tournament.
The previous two years, Swing For Hope has benefited two students in the school who were battling childhood leukemia. This year, fortunately, there aren’t any students who have been diagnosed. All proceeds will be donated to the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Unit, which is still treating both Fort Smallwood students.
“We are very, very lucky here at Fort Smallwood to have an extremely supportive PTA, and the PTA has totally jumped on board,” said Andrea Fowler, a Fort Smallwood teacher who leads the event.
In the last two years, Fort Smallwood has raised more than $30,000 through Swing For Hope. The golf tournament is held at Compass Pointe Golf Courses, and will be April 26 this year.
In addition to the golf tournament, there is a silent auction and buffet. Each grade level is assigned a theme, and students bring items to make silent auction baskets.
“It’s amazing what the community does,” Fowler said. “They just send things in that we can put in these baskets, and then we do the silent auction at the golf tournament. Last year, we had a bag that went for $1,000.”
The day kicks off with a shotgun start at 9:30am. Both Ashley Hackmann and Ryan Korwek, the students battling leukemia, will be in attendance for the kickoff. The tournament usually ends between 3:00pm and 4:00pm, and the event continues with the silent auction and banquet.
Glory Days Grill provides food for the day, including both the banquet and food off the grill halfway through the tournament.
Registration is available for both individual golfers and businesses (through sponsorship packages). The deadline to sign up as a sponsor is April 5. Individual golfers can pay at the tournament so long as they register in advance. For registration information, visit Swing For Hope on Facebook.
For those who want to donate but are unable to attend the tournament, checks can be made payable to “Fort Smallwood PTA” and sent to Fort Smallwood Elementary School, ATTN: Swing For Hope, 1720 Poplar Ridge Road, Pasadena, MD 21122.
“It’s a very giving, loving, supportive community,” Fowler said. “That’s how the Dena is.”