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Bethel A.M.E. Church HIV/AIDS Awareness Auxiliary Hosts Its 6th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser

Romona Mitchell, Dafney King and Celena Perry received awards from Dwight Blackledge. (Photo Courtesy: Crittenden K. Ward)

On Friday, August 16, 2013, the HIV/AIDS Outreach Program of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church of Oxnard hosted its 6th Annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser.  For the second consecutive year, it was held at Victoria Lakes at River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard.  44 players participated in a shotgun scramble format tournament, and enjoyed a full barbecue dinner, raffle and lively auction in the clubhouse afterwards.  This affair was a success and big-time fun was had by all.

This golf tournament is an annual event where the proceeds help to fund the promulgation of HIV/AIDS information and HIV/AIDS testing throughout Ventura County.  Through its HIV/AIDS Outreach Program, Bethel AME Church is one of few, if not the only African American church in the county with this ministry.  The HIV/AIDS Outreach Program was established in October 2006.  Its mission is, “to operate as a faith-based community outreach program emphasizing education, prevention awareness, and health services that reduce the adverse affects of HIV/AIDS transmission.”  Its goals are accomplished through various services provided to the community and by partnering with the Anacapa Surgical Associates(affiliated with the Ventura County Medical Center)/Dr. Thomas Duncan; Clinica of Ventura County; Healthwise Home Care Solution, Inc./Dr. Suzanne Fussell; St. John’s Regional Medical Center and Ventura County Public Health Department.

This year’s tournament committee members were: Rev. Robert L. Cox, Pastor, Dwight Blackledge, Chairman, Dr. Suzanne Fussell, Co-Chairman, Ava Adams, Bobby Adams, Jerry Brandon, Shirley Brandon, Denise Cox, Walace Dailey, Al Duff, Sr., Dr, Thomas Duncan, Jerry Gaston, Ruby Gaston, Larry Hibbler, Robbie Hibbler, Catherine Ingram, Raphelia Keene, Elsie Kelley, Beverly LeFlore, Romona Mitchell, Bedford Pinkard, Karen Hill Scott, Francine Ward and Frances Williams.

There would be no tournament without the participation of the players, and the generosity of our sponsors and donors.  The corporate sponsors and donors this year were: All Phase Electric Supply, Anacapa Surgical Associates/Dr. Thomas Duncan, Coca Cola Refreshments of Ventura, Flower Power, George Thompson Diamond Company, Golfsmith of Oxnard, Healthwise Home Care Solutions/Dr. Suzanne Fussell, Hilton Garden Inn of Oxnard, Homewood Suites by Hilton – Oxnard, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. – Ventura County Alumni Chapter, Pacific Beverages, Pinkard Innovative Enterprises, Psi Xi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., River Ridge Golf Course, Rustic Canyon Golf Course,SAS Comfort Shoes of Ventura, San Miguel Produce, Simi Valley Ford/Larry Hibbler, Sterling Hills Gold Course, Success Valley Produce/Jim Nahas, Trader Joe’s – Victoria Road, Ventura,
Individual sponsors and donors were: Bobby Adams, Kenneth Adams, Dwight Blackledge, Jerry and Shirley Brandon, Walace Dailey, Jerry and Ruby Gaston, Freddie Grady, Elsie Kelley, Raphelia Keene, Maryetta McMahan, Romona Mitchell, Diana Kelley Morris, Corey Pavin, Bedford Pinkard, Shirley and Crittenden Ward, Curtis Webb, and Frances Williams.  A special thank-you goes to Charles Vivian who served as Tournament Statistician, to the many non-committee volunteers who gave of their time, and to the staff of River Ridge for the great service they rendered.

After the scrumptious meal, the raffle, the Game “52”, the very lively auction and presentation of awards, Rev. Cox closed the events by stressing the need to continue to be vigilant in our fight against HIV/AIDS.  He emphasized the disproportionate impact that this disease has on the Black community and the fact that for the past 26 years, this has been a community concern.  The Bethel AME Church HIV/AIDS Outreach Program is a 501(c)3 – non-profit corporation and your contributions are always welcomed.  To God be the Glory for a great event!

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