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Playing Fore the Pets, Helicopter Golf Ball Drop raise money to help animals

October 2, 2018

The Playing Fore the Pets Charity Golf Tournament, which includes a Helicopter Golf Ball Drop, is the biggest fundraiser for the Friends of the Animal Shelter, or FOTAS.

For Sandy Staiger, who serves as the co-chairperson of the event with her husband, Ross, getting everything organized is a lot of hard work.

But she also described Playing Fore the Pets as “a labor of love” prior to its fifth edition, which was held Monday at The Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation in Aiken.

Approximately 180 golfers participated.

The thousands of dollars generated by Playing Fore the Pets are important because the Aiken County Animal Shelter takes in “4,000 to 5,000 animals a year, and there aren’t 4,000 to 5,000 people living here willing to adopt,” Sandy Staiger said. “To save their lives, we transport the animals to shelters up north, all the way up the East Coast to Maine. We need money to get them there because many of those shelters are small and can’t afford to pay the costs.”

She added that Playing Fore the Pets also is a way to spread the word that people should spay or neuter their pets.

There was a big banner with the message “Spay and neuter your pets!” on it near the area where the golfers registered.

“This helps bring awareness to everybody,” Sandy Staiger said.

Before the Playing Fore the Pets tournament started, bags of golf balls were dumped out of a hovering helicopter. They had numbers on them, and the ball that stopped closest to a designated spot after hitting the ground won $1,000 for the person who owned it after purchasing a $10 ticket.

As of press time, FOTAS hadn’t reported the name of the winning ticket holder to the Aiken Standard.

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