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June 2, 2008

4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

The Kids’ Chance goal is to provide eligible kids with a bright sunny future. What better way to help achieve this goal than to provide the generous donors, sponsors and volunteers of Kids’ Chance with a bright sunny day of fund raising. That’s exactly what the Board of Directors delivered in hosting the Kids’ Chance 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament, at Diamante Country Club in Hot Springs Village.

Being the premier fund raiser, the annual Kids’ Chance Charity Golf Tournament has gained the attention of many corporate and individual donors, who traveled from as far away as Forrest City, Stuttgart, Hope and Texarkana to join in achieving the Kids’ Chance scholarship goals.

This year’s tournament director, Kim Cook, and her team delivered splendidly in organizing a fun filled day for the sponsors. The player registration setting offered out of town guests an opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends and hear stories about how the kids of Kids’ Chance were benefitting from their gracious participation.

With a 1:00 pm shotgun tee time, the participants had ample opportunity to use the driving range, practice on the putting green and help themselves to a catfish buffet with all the trimmings. While in the dining room, guests could review the numerous prizes that were donated to Kids’ Chance, such as a Sanyo 26” HD LCD and a set of Nike Ignite Irons.

A pre-round putting contest was set up by Diamante’s Head Professional, Brad Martin. For $5, a contestant could make three attempts at a hole-in-one a mere 30 feet away. “This is going to be too easy”, the first of some 25 contestants stated, as one by one, many of the downhill/sidehill putts landed way out of what would be considered a weekender’s “gimme” range. It wasn’t until former University of Arkansas golfer, Drew Higgenbotham, made it look simple by draining his first putt dead center, taking home the $75 prize.

Following the rules briefing for the four person scramble format and special prize instructions, the player participants headed out onto the beautiful and challenging Diamante CC layout. In addition to the usual bragging rights for winning a tournament at prestigious Diamante, participants had many opportunities for various individual contests, such as winning a 2008 Honda Accord (donated by Honda World of Conway) for a hole-in-one on the par three No.7. Additional hole-in-one prizes, long drive and closest to the pin prizes were also offered to the skilled and lucky players.

The scramble team of Jeff Johnson, Billy Zihala, Ken Allen, and Mark Vanherpen made the most of their opportunities. Jeff and Billy have played golf together for many years and knew that keeping the ball in the fairways on every hole would be their strong suit. Mark Vanherpen added consistency in landing his second shot on the greens, while Ken Allen didn’t look at a putt that he couldn’t make. A perfect combination of strategy and luck turned their round into an impressive 19 under par, for the winning score of 53.

The real winners, of course, were the kids of Kids’ Chance, who through the generosity of many caring supporters, were able to continue their quest for a higher education with a bright and sunny future.

To learn more about Kids’ Chance of Arkansas, visit the website at and click on the Kids’ Chance button. For individuals interested in becoming a donor, sponsor, or volunteer, contact Bill Zihala at 501-251-7802 or

2008 Winning Team - (Left to right) Jeff Johnson, Mark VanHerpen, Billy Zihala, and Ken Allen

Ready for a great day of golf!

Volunteers at the registration table.

Alan McClain, CEO - AR Workers’ Compensation Commission, and Terry Duke, AG-Comp Self Insured Fund,
playing for a good cause.

Swinging for scholarships.