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All-kindsl-lionsThe Mission Lions Club will host the first annual PDG Dan Gerlach Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 26, at Shary Municipal Golf Course. Funds raised from the tournament will be dedicated to Texas Lions Camp for children with handicaps or medical conditions. The camp allows children with a wide range of illnesses or conditions to participate in a fun, but challenging camp experience.

The Mission Club decided to re-name the golf tournament in memory of Lions’ past district governor and two-time club president Dan Gerlach who passed away unexpectedly last year. This is the fifth year the club has hosted the golf tournament for the express purpose of raising funds for the Lions Camp, and Gerlach was always a key figure in making each tournament successful.

“Dan was a longtime supporter of the Lions Camp and he always pushed us to have a successful golf tournament to help support it,” said Mission Lion Pat Townsend Jr., who is serving as tournament director for the club this year. “So, this year the club decided to name the tournament in Dan’s honor – to honor his memory and his commitment to Texas Lions Camp,” he added.

Texas Lions Camp provides a residential camping facility for children with physical disabilities. This year, the camp is launching a pilot program to provide a camping experience for Down Syndrome children. Some of the disabilities served include amputee, asthma, atonic diplegia, blind/vision impaired, burns, cancer, cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth, deaf/hearing impaired, epilepsy, heart, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Other conditions include Legg-Perthes, lupus, muscular dystrophy, mute, partial paralysis, phocomelia, polio, rickets, scoliosis, sickle cell and stroke.

The camp is located on over 500 acres in the Texas Hill Country, near Kerrville, and is designed to introduce the “can do” philosophy to children dealing with special medical conditions, according to the camp’s Web site. Children with special needs from across Texas have the opportunity to attend one of nine weeks of camp provided each summer. The camp staff and board of directors aspire to make the camp experience become one of the camper’s life-long childhood memories, in a week designed for fun, exploration and challenge.

The Mission Lions Club sends children from the Mission area to the camp each year.  For more information about how to apply to attend the camp, contact Lion Adela Ortega at 580-8485 or 458-9066. There is no cost to the individuals who qualify for the camp. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, as space is available.

Registration for the tournament is now underway and sponsors are needed to help the Texas Lions Camp provide camping experiences at no charge to handicapped children.

Individual players can participate at a cost of $75; this includes green fees and half cart. After the Feb. 25 deadline, the individual registration goes to $100. This is an amateur-only tournament.

Individuals and businesses can be a “hole” sponsor for as little as $100 and will receive a sign on a hole advertising their company.

Platinum level sponsorships are $1,000 and include two, three-man teams, a banner in the clubhouse, tee box sign and golf cart sign. Gold level sponsorships are $500 and include one, three-man team, a golf cart sign and tee box sign.

Tournament prizes include first place, one set of Callaway irons per player; second place, a Callaway driver per player; and third place, a Callaway bag per player.

To register for the tournament, contact Paul Schaefer, golf director of Shary Municipal Golf Course, at 580-8770.

For more information about Texas Lions Camp, visit www.lionscamp.com.

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