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'It's a wonderful cause' - Bruce Pearl's Fore the Children Golf Classic
May 2, 2016

<em> Bruce Pearl thanks participants at his third Fore the Children Golf Classic.</em>
Bruce Pearl thanks participants at his third Fore the Children Golf Classic.

By Jeff Shearer

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala - With the same passion he brings to the basketball court, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl shared his family’s motivation for supporting Children’s Harbor at the third annual Fore the Children Golf Classic.

“When Brandy and I first got to Auburn, we were looking for a charity that we could try to make a difference in,” Pearl said Monday at Willow Point Country Club.

“We met the folks at Children’s Harbor, saw their ministry, saw the difference that it was making with all of those children and all those families,” he said. “Why shouldn’t kids with burns, or heart issues, or cancer, or handicaps and different challenges not be able to go to summer camp? Not be able to be on this beautiful Lake Martin and enjoy, just like children who don’t have those challenges, and it’s all free.”

In addition to the Lake Martin Campus, Children’s Harbor also serves children at the Family Center at the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children in Birmingham.

“Up at the hospital in Birmingham, there’s a special place where kids get to go. Sometimes, kids don’t go to the hospital for a week. They go to the hospital for a month,” Pearl said. “And they need a safe harbor where they can go where there are no needles and no doctors, and no IVs and things like that. And just get away and play. So it’s a wonderful, wonderful cause.”

Pearl said the event has raised nearly $750,000 in three years, thanks to presenting sponsors Alabama Power and Russell Lands, as well as support from range sponsor Regions, dinner sponsor ALFA and others.

“And what’s made it so successful, has been that friends and the Auburn Family have come out, and from the minute I asked them, saying, ‘Hey, we can’t do this by ourselves. We need support.’ And that’s making a huge difference. We’re really blessed to be a part of it,” Pearl said.

“This is a $5,000 a foursome deal. This is one of the more expensive tournaments in this state. But it might be the best golf tournament in the state,” he said. “The sponsors have just been outstanding and as a result, we’re able to provide some great support for the kids and families.”

<em> In just three years, Bruce and Brandy Pearl's Fore the Children Golf Classic has raised nearly $750,000 for Children's Harbor.</em>
In just three years, Bruce and Brandy Pearl's Fore the Children Golf Classic has raised nearly $750,000 for Children's Harbor.

Pearl also talked basketball, indicating there could be more additions to Auburn’s roster before the fall semester.

“You’d like to think that we know everything about our personnel, with school just about up, and you’d think the roster is set completely. But it’s just not,” he said. “Being a moving target, we’re still aggressively trying to fill in the last couple holes.”

Pearl said the Tigers are trying to build depth, noting how injuries in the backcourt proved costly last season.

“We’re going to have a very good, young roster next year,” he said. “We’re going to have probably seven or eight really good freshmen and sophomore players. So we’ll lack for some experience, but I do think we’ll play faster, we’ll play quicker. The schedule will be challenging.

“And I do hope that we can make the step that I anticipated we could have made last year, and that is get into the middle of the league and get into the tournament. And that’s something that is definitely I think within reach.”

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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