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Golf tourney raises $20K for JDRF

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Bryan Combiths, golf pro at Five Oaks, gives last-minute instructions to golfers before the noon start.

Swings were taken this week in hopes of finding a cure for diabetes.

The Kids Battle Diabetes Golf Classic was held Monday, Oct. 5, at Five Oaks Golf & Country Club in Lebanon. The second annual event benefitted the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

Event organizer Rick Martin said 30 teams participated in the tournament. When participants weren't on the course, they were found bidding in the silent auction. Items included impressive sports memorabilia such as a Nick Sabin autographed football, Peyton Manning autographed University of Tennessee jersey, Vanderbilt batting helmet, Butch Jones autographed football and Mike Fisher hockey stick.

State Representative Susan Lynn was instrumental in planning the event. She said the cause is near to her heart, since her grandson, Ben, 3, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

"He was diagnosed in the emergency room just before he was 2," she said. "He is still so little. He doesn't know he has diabetes. He just knows mom and dad have to go to the doctor and he gets four insulin shots a day - for the rest of his life - unless we find a cure."

Dr. William 'Bill' Russell, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, said that funds raised at the 2014 golf tournament were put to good use.

"We are now acquiring equipment to do eye exams. A lot of families don't get the test (because of cost or insurance)," he said.

Approximately 215,000 under the age of 20 have been diagnosed with diabetes. A pamphlet passed out at the event added that an estimated 18,436 people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with Type 1 annually and 3,600 children will be diagnosed with Type 2 this year.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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